SWD Eagles prop Anton van der Westhuizen and centre Sinethemba Zweni were found not guilty of foul play after both players attended SARU judicial hearings held in Cape Town earlier this week.
Van der Westhuizen was cited under Law 10.4 (e) which states that a player should not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. He was cited by Citing Commissioner Luvuyo Matsha during an Absa Currie Cup First Division match against the Valke on 24 September 2010.
The SWD Eagles prop tackled the Valke No 8 Warren Perkins from behind in his lower back area, which injured the loose forward. The Valke player was not in possession of the ball at the time of the tackle.
SARU judicial officer Rob Stelzner considered evidence from the SWD Eagles prop, video recordings and heard submissions from Van der Westhuizen’s representative. He noted that the SWD Eagles player was unaware that Perkins was not in possession of the ball and Van der Westhuizen’s lack of knowledge of this fact was blameless. As a result, the citing was not upheld.
Zweni was also cited under Law 10.4 (e) which states that a player should not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. He was cited by Citing Commissioner Edwin Wyngaard during an Absa Currie Cup First Division match against the Boland Cavaliers on 17 September 2010.
The SWD Eagles centre tackled the Boland Cavaliers centre Alex Kock during the second minute of the game. His defence argued that while he lifted Kock, it had no impact with the opponent that would have been more consistent with a spear or other dangerous tackle.
Stelzner considered the evidence from Zweni, video recordings and heard submissions from his legal representative. He noted that the action of the SWD Eagles player was clearly not a spear tackle and added that the tackled player was not taken past a horizontal position. Although Kock’s feet were lifted off the ground, Stelzner deemed that the Boland Cavaliers centre was not dropped to the ground from a height with any regard to his safety.
As a result, the citing was not upheld.
Issued by SARU Communications