'He didn't steal it': Roux's lawyers go into battle
NEWS: Former SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux’s battle to overturn the ruling that he pays back ZAR37-million to the University of Stellenbosch began in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.
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, who was not present in court on Wednesday, held senior positions in the university’s finance department and had been accused of manipulating the electronic accounting system.
The arbitrator, in the civil matter, published his award to Stellenbosch University on 23 December 2020. Roux appealed and this appeal was dismissed a year later.
In a report from News24 on Wednesday’s civil case, Roux’s legal team argued that there were “gross irregularities” in the arbitration process.
Roux’s lawyer Johan de Waal argued that money that was moved by Roux was not used unlawfully and that it stayed in-house.
News24’s report also mentioned that Roux argued in his arbitration appeal that funds were used on “transformation scholarships” and that the university benefitted from government subsidies.
However, Judge Vincent Saldanha said Roux did not have the power to prioritise how the university’s money was used.
“It’s a helluva lot of money,” said Judge Saldanha
According to the report, Roux’s lawyer stressed that the former SA Rugby boss did not benefit from the money that was channelled into the Stellenbosch Rugby club.
“He didn’t steal it. That’s a clear finding,” was the words of Roux’s second lawyer.
However, Saldanha did not budge from his view that Roux did not have the right to use the university funds without council approval.
The civil case will continue in court.