The Springboks are awaiting the outcome of World Rugby’s investigation into an incident whether Springboks hooker, Bongi Mbonambi, did use a ‘racial slur’ against an English player on Saturday, during their semi-final match.
England’s Tom Curry has alleged that the 32-year-old Mbonambi made racist remarks in the first half of the nail-biting game that saw the Boks clinching a 16-15 victory.
“World Rugby takes all allegations of discriminatory behaviour extremely seriously. We can confirm that we are formally reviewing the allegation made by England’s Tom Curry in relation to the use of discriminatory language during the England versus South Africa Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final on Saturday,” the organisation has said.
SA Rugby has also confirmed that it is also conducting its own investigation.
Should World Rugby decide to take disciplinary action against Mbonambi, the 32-year-old could be handed a suspension, meaning that he could possibly miss the final against the All Blacks on Saturday.
The Springboks cannot afford to be without Mbonambi as he is the Springboks’ only specialist hooker after Malcom Marx was injured, thus ending his time at the tournament.
Mbonambi, who was man of the match in the quarter-final win over hosts France, is also the captain of the team when Siya Kolisi isn’t on the field.
Meanwhile, South Africa second row, Jean Kleyn, has refused to comment on the claims against Mbonambi, but praised him for being a great guy.
South Africans are, however, openly defending Mbonambi on social media.
— G. (@Galeshewe_GT) October 23, 2023
— 🇿🇦 Wonderland 🇿🇦 (@socialHATchat) October 24, 2023
— Amashumi, hay’ oosheleni!💰 🇵🇸 (@luyolo_mad) October 24, 2023
— Peché Africa 🇿🇦 (@pmcafrica) October 24, 2023
Bongi Mbonambi 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦 speaking Afrikaans… he is fluent
“ die hond blaf” those are the only words I can praat 🤞🏽😭
— Sandra Boyce (@Sandraboyce19) October 24, 2023
Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris