WP Rugby president Thelo Wakefield said that vice-president Gerald Njengele will appeal his four-year suspension. Photo: Tracey Adams/African News Agency/ANA

CAPE TOWN – Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield has confirmed that vice-president Gerald Njengele will appeal his four-year suspension following an alleged racial incident.

In December last year, reports of an alleged racial row involving Njengele surfaced, and 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 that aims to cater for rugby development – was said to have been the subject of a 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 couple of months prior.

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.”

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.

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On Monday, Wakefield confirmed the outcome of the hearing, but also added that Njengele would appeal the four-year suspension.

“I confirm the findings of the Disciplinary Committee, as well as the sanction of four years,” Wakefield told Independent Media.

“The case is being appealed by Mr Njengele, and the Executive Committee still view the matter as sub judice.” 

 

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