CONFIRMED: Jurie Roux is gone
NEWS: It was without much fanfare or a formal announcement, but Jurie Roux has vacated his office as Chief Executive Officer of the South African Rugby Union.
SARU President Mark Alexander on Thursday confirmed reports that Roux has departed.
“He is no longer CEO,” Alexander said in a quote, forwarded to @rugby365com, when asked for confirmation of reports that Roux has departed the union’s Plattekloof headquarters.
“He stepped down on December 31,” Alexander continued.
“He served the organisation for 12 years and he added significant value during his tenure.”
The SARU President credited Roux with having played a key role in crafting a “strategic transformation” plan of which the results can be seen in 2023.
“Jurie delivered only good service,” Alexander said, adding: “It is unfortunate that things beyond our and his control have forced him to step down.”
The SARU boss said Roux agreed to “step down” in the interest of the game and the organisation.
“That takes leadership,” Alexander said.
The agreement to ‘step down’ relates to Roux’s long-standing legal battle with his former employer, the University of Stellenbosch.
Since the beginning of last year, there has been a flood of reports that suggested Roux will be ‘kicked out’ or ‘axed’ as CEO.
Roux, in December 2021, lost his appeal and was ordered to personally pay back more than ZAR37-million to the University of Stellenbosch.
Roux was ordered to repay the huge sum of money – which an arbitrator found he had misappropriated from Stellenbosch University, between 2002 and 2010.
In 2013, when Roux was the head of the Stellenbosch Rugby Club (Maties), the audit firm KPMG submitted a preliminary report to the university which found that Roux had manipulated the finance system to channel millions of unbudgeted expenditures into the rugby club.
Roux held senior positions in the university’s finance department and had been accused of manipulating the electronic accounting system.
SARU remained mum on the matter till March last year, when they advised the media that a review of the outcome of the appeal into the arbitration hearing between Roux and his former employer remains ongoing.
There is also the matter of a review of the arbitration process – set for 25 January 2023 – in which Roux will look to overturn the ruling that he pays back more than ZAR37-million (and interest) for alleged damages suffered by the University of Stellenbosch.
The arbitrator, in the civil matter, published his award on 23 December 2020. Roux appealed and this appeal was dismissed a year later.
This is now taken on review.
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In the meantime, he came to an agreement with SARU to step down, despite “meeting and exceeding” his key performance indicators.
“In those 12 years I cannot fault him on the work he has done,” Alexander said in the statement forwarded to @rugby365com.
“He met and exceeded his KPIs.
“He is a true professional in what he does and he did good work for the organisation.
“He took the organisation out of that dark hole, the two worst periods in the history of the game [in SA], in 2016 – when we failed the government transformation targets and corporate SA turned their backs us, as well as 2020 during the pandemic.
“It was important for us to land on our feet.
“We turned it around and went on to win the World Cup [in 2019].”
Alexander’s statement made no mention of a possible successor for Roux.