Police investigating 'fraud' in Newlands saga
As the idiom says: ‘There is never a dull moment’. That certainly carries weight when speaking about the protracted Newlands saga.
@rugby365com can now confirm that a case of ‘fraud’ is being investigated by the South African Police Service.
Joseph Swartbooi, from the SAPS Western Cape media centre, confirmed that the “circumstances surrounding an incident” are under investigation.
“The Claremont police registered a case of fraud,” Swartbooi told @rugby365com when asked about suggestions that a formal charge has already been laid.
This confirmation follows the revelation by this website that Philip Burns, a Non-Executive Director of Western Province Professional Rugby, threatened to file a “formal criminal complaint” against the South African Rugby Union with the Serious Commercial Crimes Directorate – also known as the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation or HAWKS.
Swartbooi did not reveal who laid the charge or who is being investigated.
“The investigating officer in the matter is pursuing all available leads,” he said.
“We can confirm that no suspect/s has yet been arrested.”
@rugby365com has been unable to confirm which specific ‘incident’ it relates to.
It reportedly involves an episode related to the warring factions of the WPRFU.
It may not be related to the Burns letter at all.
Burns, when contacted by this website, would not expand on his letter to WPRFU President Zelt Marais.
“Matters of the board remain matters of the board,” Burns told @rugby365com.
“I am not authorized to discuss board matters outside of the governance framework given our rules and regulation formats.
“Any further developments would be at the elective of the applicable international regulatory body/ law enforcement agency/ professional body/CIPC/civil case, as and when applicable.”
It is clear that the conflict within the ranks of the WPRFU is likely to produce a few more twists.
It is just the latest in many developments since SARU placed the WPRFU under administration in October last year.
Experienced former SARU CEO Rian Oberholzer was appointed as an administrator and assumed oversight of the union’s affairs.
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