The ongoing boardroom drama at Western Province Rugby has taken another twist following the disclosure of a now recalled email document.
According to various news reports, an email – containing explosive attachments – was sent out on Wednesday confirming that a special general meeting scheduled for Saturday, 24 April will go ahead.
Minutes from the WP executive committee’s meetings since 2020 as well as financial statements dating back to 2018 were among the attachments. The email has since been recalled and the meeting postponed indefinitely.
The meeting was reportedly called off primarily because the WPRFU could not provide audited financial statements for the 2019 financial year as the union has effectively not been audited for three years.
The union’s net gain for 2018 is indicated at almost R413 million but that was created at an adapted valuation of WP’s properties and is thus not an accurate reflection of the union’s financial state.
The problem with the 2019 financial statements allegedly spring from a difference in opinion between WP and the auditors over the valuation methods for the properties.
Another revelation from the email was from the minutes of an executive committee meeting in February when the decision was approved to award lifelong membership to controversial former vice-president Gerald Njengele, who was handed a four-year suspension for breaching the union’s code of ethics. He later was acquitted following an appeal but still resigned from his role as vice-president.
Njengele was involved in an incident that took place at the Cape Town Sevens in 2017, when he launched a verbal and racial attack on Jessie Claassen, who is the national manager of the Vuka Rugby Programme – an SA Rugby-affiliated initiative that aims to cater for rugby development in the country.
At the time, Claassen refused to shake Njengele’s hand due to a previous altercation, and Njengele responded: ‘F**k you white people, f**k the coloureds. I’m a clever darkie. I don’t need your f*****g money.’
Minutes from another meeting also revealed that president Zelt Marais is still fighting in favour of the union’s transactions with Flyt Properly Investment and Dream World Investments 401.
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