WP presidential elections in disarray hours out from vote

2018-11-26 13:34
Thelo Wakefield (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Monday night's elections for the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) presidency are in danger of not taking place thanks to an urgent court interdict.  

Sport24 understands that Ronald Bantom, who was due to run as a candidate for vice-president on Monday night, has applied to the high court to put a stop to the elections. 

Outgoing WPRFU president Thelo Wakefield announced last week that Bantom had been suspended from standing in the elections due to the fact that he had evaded a disciplinary hearing relating to an incident from August, 2017 when he had a spat with Jessie Claasen of the Vuka Rugby development programme. 

While the timing of Wakefield's renewed interest in that disciplinary process was curious, it is understood that Bantom evaded calls to sit before lawyers in an effort to move forward with the process. 

It was that non-compliance that gave Wakefield the ammunition to suspend Bantom, who is now fighting back. 

Sport24 contacted Wakefield on Monday to ask if Monday night's AGM would go ahead given the latest developments. 

"Why would you ask me that when the AGM is tonight?" Wakefield said. 

When informed that, on our information, two standing candidates (Bantom and Marais) had moved to have the elections postponed, Wakefield opted to keep his distance. 

"This matter is with the high court ... the judge must decide."

The high court is expected to rule on the interdict at 15:00, while the AGM was expected to get underway at 19:30

***Sport24 earlier incorrectly reported that Bantom had had been involved in a second public spat, this time at the Cape Town Sevens where Claasen and then-WPRFU vice-president Gerald Njengele engaged in an altercation that was reportedly racist in nature. Bantom was, however, not present during that altercation. Sport24 apologises for the error.***

Read more on:    thelo wakefield  |  rugby


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