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New WPRFU administrator walks into firestorm

NEWS: Peter Jooste, the new administrator of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, will walk straight into a firestorm.


The South African Rugby Union on Wednesday announced the appointment of experienced businessman and former executive member Peter Jooste, as the new administrator of the Western Province Rugby Football Union.

He succeeds Max Fuzani, who has stepped down following his appointment as a special advisor to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.

Jooste is the third administrator since the WPRFU was placed under administration by SARU in October 2021 – with the union and its professional arm (Western Province Professional Rugby [Pty] Ltd) effectively bankrupt at the time.

Rian Oberholzer, now the CEO of SARU, was the first WPRFU administrator.

In May last year, after Oberholzer was appointed SARU CEO, Fuzani took up a ‘six-month’ contract as administrator – which ended in December.

Peter Jooste appointment


Jooste, a vastly experienced official and a long-serving Springbok selector, also served on the WPRFU executive during the cataclysmic Zelt Marais era.

He eventually walked away during a time when Marais was involved in several legal battles with members of his executive.

SARU President Mark Alexander thanked Jooste for taking on the role to complete the process of the union’s exit from administration.

“External factors, principally relating to the application to the Western Cape Heritage council about the sale of Newlands, were outside of the administrator’s control and have complicated the completion of the transactions required to return the Union to financial stability,” Alexander said.


“However, we trust the process will be completed over the coming months.”

Jooste, who takes up his position immediately, will walk straight into a firestorm, as some of his former adversaries are still very active and have already launched appeals in the recently announced equity deal.

(Continue below …)


Philip Burns, a member of Marais’ infamous War Room during that disastrous 2021 period, has confirmed that he filed an appeal with the competition commission – who on December 15 approved an equity deal for WPPR with the Red Disa consortium.

@rugby365com has obtained a copy of a letter in which the competition commission confirms receipt of Burns’ appeal.

This will not only cause more strife for the professional arm, but could lead to further delays in finally allowing WPPR to stop being a burden to SARU – who has been supporting the Stormers and WP teams financially.

The loans by SARU to WPPR could by now be near ZAR100-million.

In the 2022 annual report, SARU confirmed there were ‘loans’ to member unions of ZAR84.7-million – about half of that was for the cash-strapped WPRFU/Stormers.

It is not the first time Burns, a former ‘Non-Executive Director’ of WPPR, aimed at SARU and their administration of WPRFU.

In December he confirmed to @rugby365com that he was planning a court interdict to overturn the competition commission decision.

Instructions in this regard have already gone out to their lawyers and the above actions are ‘pending and underway’, according to Burns.

It is not the first time Burns had threatened to go the legal route, in his dispute with SARU.

In January 2022 Burns threatened to file a “formal criminal complaint” against SARU with the Serious Commercial Crimes Directorate – also known as the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation or HAWKS.

Burns is adamant that the process will be ‘litigated to exhaustion’.


Related articles

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People & details behind Stormers equity deal
Seeing through #NEWLANDS smoke and mirrors
What the WPRFU clubs will vote for: ‘Life or death’
What does equity deal mean for WP & Stormers
SARU threatened with ‘criminal’ charges 



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