Get Newsletter

Revealed: The asking price for owning Newlands

UPDATE: It is still the subject of a court hearing and a disciplinary process, but the sale of the iconic Newlands stadium has been given the ‘all clear’ – with the price tag revealed.

ADVERTISEMENT

@rugby365com obtained a copy of a letter sent and signed by Danny Jones, GM: Amateur Rugby, to the Western Province Rugby Union clubs.

The letter refers to a Special General Meeting held last month in which the South African Rugby Union-appointed administrator Peter Jooste is “mandated” to proceed with:
* 1. The sale of Newlands
* 2. Negotiate a settlement with Flyt/Dreamworld
* 3. Once the binding Heads Of Agreement are signed, approach SARU to take the embattle WPRFU out of administration

However, the most significant fact of the letter is that the price tag placed on the sale of Newlands is a ‘minimum’ of ZAR250-million.

It is well-known that the debt to Fly – which started at ZAR112-million – has risen to more than ZAR200-million, with costs and interest.

The ‘partnership’ with the Flyt Property Group allowed WPRFU to unlock a loan of ZAR112-million from Dream World Investments 401 (Pty) Ltd – a company within the Flyt group.

That loan was used to pay off previous debts owed to Remgro (ZAR58-million) and Investec (ZAR50-million).

ADVERTISEMENT

Previously, it was reported that the asking price was ZAR500-million for Newlands, but as the saga surrounding the various factions in the fractious dragged on and new challenges came out the woodwork, the administrators (three since October 2021) found it more troublesome getting a willing buyer.

Neither SARU nor the administrator answered @rugby365com‘s questions about the impact of the latest legal challenges and disciplinary processes on the sale of the iconic venue.

However, the ZAR250-million asking price may suggest they are willing to accept a lower offer to settle the long-standing saga.

(Article continues below …)

Newlands price tag

A little-known political party, the African Restoration Alliance, was the latest to enter the fray – on the eve of the national elections earlier this month.

ADVERTISEMENT

ARA, as the first applicant, with co-applicants William Angelo Fisher and Godfrey Gavin Afrika, filed papers in the Western Cape High Court on Friday in an attempt to have the administration overturned by declaring the Section 29.5 of SARU’s constitution (under which the administration of WPRFU was implemented in October 2021) declared unconstitutional.

A spokesperson for SARU confirmed that they are aware of the court action and told @rugby365com that SARU would oppose the application.

It comes after the confirmation of the new equity partner for the Stormers – Red Disa Investments (Pty) Ltd.

It is important as the respondents include SARU, WPRFU, SARU President Mark Alexander, former CEO Jurie Roux, current CEO Rian Oberholzer, current administrator Peter Jooste and the Stormers Rugby’s new equity partner, Red Disa.

ARA, an offshoot of the African Christian Democratic Party, claims the placing of WPRFU under administration by SARU is ‘invalid and unconstitutional’.

“It was not lawfully justifiable at the time,” the court papers read, adding: “Alternatively, administration of WPRFU is presently no longer justified.”

It also wants the suspension of the WPRFU executive committee members by SARU – at the time of placing the union under administration – declared unlawful in that it was not valid, unconstitutional and of no force and effect, alternatively, unjustified at its inception, alternatively should it have been lawful at the time of its inception it is no longer lawful and/or justified.

Zelt-statement-on-administration

* Meanwhile the polemical former WPRFU President, Marais, is having the book thrown at him by SARU.

Marais, slapped with a 12-month ban in 2022 for various breaches of the SARU Code of Conduct, faces a new disciplinary hearing.

The new hearing – with a date yet to be determined – includes eight charges for ongoing breaches and his insistence that he is still the WPRFU President.

Chantal du Pisani, the head of Legal and Compliance at SARU; sent Marais a letter informing him of the hearing.

@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Related:

Political party drops legal bomb on SARU
SARU throws the book at Zelt with eight new charges
Disentangling WPRFU, WPPR and the commercial chaos
SARU reacts to EPRU and ‘gunslingers’ stand-off
Court rules in EPRU Presidential stand-off

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

Join free

Boks Office | Episode 14 | South Africa v Ireland Review Live

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 21

South Africa v England | World Rugby U20 Championship 2024 | Pool C Full Match Replay

Embedded 2024 | England | Episode 3

France v Wales | World Rugby U20 Championship 2024 | Pool A Full Match Replay

Walk the Talk | Brodie Retallick | The King of the Skies

Before They Make It | Ireland

Basta Show | S2 EP 7 | Rabah Slimani

Write A Comment