Cape Town - The Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) on Monday released its findings regarding an alleged racist episode between the Roodepoort and Wanderers Rugby clubs.
The incident occurred during an under-21 match between the two Johannesburg clubs on Wednesday, April 25.
In the days following the match, Wanderers released a statement claiming that racial and verbal abuse was directed towards their players by Roodepoort spectators and players.
Wanderers also claimed that Roodepoort players used the k-word towards black players in their team.
Roodepoort conducted an internal investigation which could not verify any of the claims made by Wanderers.
In turn, the GLRU launched and concluded their own investigation with the union releasing the following statement with their findings:
The Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) held a disciplinary tribunal at Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg in relation to the matters arising from an alleged incident that that took place on Wednesday April 25, 2018 during the match between Roodepoort Rugby Club U21 and Wanderers Rugby Club U21.
A fight had ensued during the match between the two teams and there were allegations of racial abuse towards Wanderers U21 players.
Herewith the GLRU would like to make the following statement relative to the findings of the outcome of the disciplinary process. This press release is not intended to be a verbatim transcript of proceedings but merely a summary of the material presented at the hearing.
The disciplinary committee (DC) of the GLRU made up of independent members has ruled as follows:
The case was based on the evidence of Sanele Ngcobo and Dawie Giezen. The DC found Sanele Ngcobo to be an honest and truthful witness with regard to the incident and altercation that occurred on April 26, 2018.
In respect of Count 1: racist remark during field of play the player is found not guilty.
Although he testified that a racial slur was made, he could not identify Ruben Chambers and/or any person who called him a racist and/or used any racial slurs and/or verbal racial abuse. In absence of any evidence provided by either Sanele Ngcobo and/or Dawie Giezen the outcome was based on evidence provided.
Both Mr Joseph and Legal Counsel for Ruben Chambers addressed the DC on an appropriate Sanction, relating to Count 2: Striking another Player with a hand, arm or fist the player pleaded guilty.
After considering all the evidence, the DC was of the opinion that the following was an appropriate sanction:
Ruben Chambers is suspended for four (4) rugby games, whereof three games are suspended until the end of the 2019 season, on condition that he is not found guilty of contravening Rule 10(A) of the Laws of Rugby
This concludes the Disciplinary Hearing which was finalised on July 17, 2018.
The Golden Lions Rugby Union does not tolerate racism at any level. The GLRU has recommended that all players involved in the incident attend a workshop on Human Rights and Racism and will be partnering with the Human Rights Commission to facilitate the conversation in an attempt to prevent any further similar situations.