Suspended Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais has come out swinging in the latest development in the union’s fight with SA Rugby.
In a letter sent electronically to members of the council of WPRFU, Marais questioned why no action had yet to be taken against SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux, while also attacking the media.
In December, Roux lost an appeal against an arbitrator who ruled that he misappropriated funds between 2002 and 2010 when he worked for Stellenbosch University’s finance department.
Roux was ordered to pay back R37 million to the university, with Rapport saying the board of SA Rugby would convene in January to rule on Roux’s future.
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“Regrettably my last letter, together with my first letter, has been construed by the media in a manner that is meant to buttress the powers that wish to control rugby in this country in order to serve their own personal interests,” said Marais in the letter.
“Firstly, the media and Jurie Roux have conveniently forgotten the finding against him by an institution of law that he has misappropriated the funds of the University of Stellenbosch, whilst he was employed thereat in a position of trust and a custodian of said funds. Secondly, SARU has forgotten its undertaking to respond to the South African public in relation to that finding by no later than January 2022. Needless to say, January 2022 has come and gone and no word regarding that finding has come forth. And why? Because no utterance can come forth other than Roux is relieved of his duties? And why should that be? Because it is unthinkable in the light of the judgement against him that he should be custodial of the affairs of SARU and rugby in this country. What follows, given the aforesaid failure of SARU to act as aforesaid and without wondering why the deafening silence on Jurie Roux has followed, is to conclude that SARU is not capable of being the custodian of rugby in this country and at present the purported custodian of the affairs of the WPRFU.”
SA Rugby has so far declined to comment.
Towards the end of last year, SA Rugby placed the company board, as well as the WPRFU executive, under administration, and appointed former SA Rugby CEO Riaan Oberholzer to administer the union’s affairs.