CAPE TOWN - Despite being cleared of all charges in the racially-fuelled incident that took place late last year, Western Province Rugby Union vice president Gerald Njengele has handed in his voluntary resignation.
Njengele’s resignation stems from an incident that took place at the Cape Town leg of the World Sevens Series in December and the internal disciplinary hearings which followed.
It was initally believed that Jessie Claassen, the national manager of the Vuka Rugby development programme, which is affiliated to SA Rugby, had refused to shake Njengele’s hand, to which the latter allegedly replied: “F**k you white people, f**k the coloureds. I’m a clever darkie, I don’t need your f*****g money.”
Following the incident, Njengele appeared before a disciplinary committee, which found him guilty and suspended him for four years. Njengele then appealed the outcome, which saw the matter referred to an appeals tribunal, which cleared him of all charges in July. He was subsequently reinstated.
WPRU president Thelo Wakefield said that he received Njengele’s resignation on Thursday morning, explaining that Njengele understands that “no one person is greater than the union”.
“Mr Njengele took the magnanimous decision (on Thursday) morning to resign in acknowledgement of the fact that no one person is greater than the Union and that the name and reputation of WPRFU needs to be held in high esteem at all times," Wakefield said. “We wish to thank Mr Njengele for his valuable contributions to the activities of the WPRFU and wish him well for his future endeavours."