WPRFU: Dramatic twist in Bantom case
NEWS: The boardroom drama enveloping the recent Western Province Rugby Football Union elections took a dramatic new twist on Wednesday.
A WPRFU executive committee was scheduled to address the pending disciplinary hearing of Vice-Presidency hopeful Ronald Bantom.
The full agenda of the meeting was not available, but a well-placed source told @rugby365com that the Bantom hearing was the most noteworthy point.
There was a suggestion that the meeting could ‘rescind’ the Bantom hearing – scheduled for Thursday evening.
However, WPRFU President, Marais, confirmed to @rugby365com that the disciplinary proceedings will go ahead on Thursday.
He declined to elaborate on the details of Wednesday’s meeting.
Bantom launched an urgent interdict in the Cape Town high court late last month – ahead of the WPRFU elections, where Zelt Marais was named the President.
Bantom was set to contest the Vice-Presidency with Spencer King.
He was not successful in his court bid and King was elected “unopposed” as Vice-President.
The disciplinary hearing – which has been the subject of more than one executive council meeting – is the result of an incident between Bantom and Jessie Claassen, the national manager of the Vuka Rugby development programme, in August 2017 – a process he felt was concluded last year.
However, the incident resurfaced at the Cape Town Sevens on December 10 last year, when former WPRFU vice-president Gerald Njengele and Claassen became involved in a verbal spat – with Njengele being charged, found guilty, banned for four years, later cleared on appeal and then resigned.
The Njengele-versus-Claassen stand-off was littered with racial undertones.
Bantom, who was a witness in the disciplinary hearing of Njengele, feels that he has become a target because he asked “tough questions” – in particular surrounding the ongoing Aerios saga.
By Jan de Koning