Thelo Wakefield Photo: Tracey Adams
Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield has confirmed that vice-president Gerald Njengele will appeal against his four-year suspension following an alleged racial incident.

In December last year, reports of an alleged racial incident involving Njengele surfaced. It was believed to have taken place at the Cape Town Sevens event on the weekend of December 9 and 10.

Jessie Claassen, national manager of the Vuka Rugby Programme - an SA Rugby initiative aimed at development - was said to have been the recipient of an alleged racially-fuelled verbal attack by Njengele, an episode Claassen claimed stemmed from his refusal to shake Njengele’s hand since they had been involved in an altercation a few months before.

Njengele allegedly responded: “F**k you white people, f**k the coloureds. I’m a clever darkie, I don’t need your f*****g money.”

When the initial reports of the incident surfaced, Njengele denied making those comments to Claassen.

Njengele appeared before a disciplinary committee following the incident, and advocates Norman Arendse and Randall Titus conducted the hearing, while a pre-trial to discuss procedures and dates took place in February.

Wakefield confirmed the outcome of the hearing, but also added that Njengele would appeal against the four-year consequence of his alleged actions.

“I confirm the findings of the disciplinary committee as well as the sanction of four years,” Wakefield said.

“The case is being appealed by Mr Njengele and the executive committee still views the matter as sub judice.”