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SARU take legal steps after Zelt's 'fraudulent' claims

REACTION: The South African Rugby Union has responded swiftly to suspended Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais’ latest claims.


In a statement issued on Thursday, SARU ‘advised’ the media that individuals claiming to hold elected positions at the WPRFU do so without any basis in fact.

“SA Rugby is instituting proceedings through the appropriate legal channels to prevent individuals [from] making such fraudulent claims,” the statement said.

The SARU reaction follows a scathing letter Marais wrote to SARU President Mark Alexander, his deputy Francois Davids, the members (clubs) of the council of WPRFU, the presidents of the 14 provincial unions and the members of the WPRFU executive committee.

Marais, going on the offensive, attempted to reclaim his position as the head of WPRFU.

He dismissed the SARU decision to place his province under administration as ‘illegal’ and ‘unlawful’.

“I am of the view that the so-called administration of the WPRFU has no legal and lawful basis,” Marais said in his letter.


“For that reason WPRFU will no longer consider itself to be under administration and will forthwith resume its activities as an autonomous and legal entity, being an association, affiliated to SARU.”

SARU responded swiftly, with an equally stern statement.

“For clarity, media are reminded that SA Rugby invoked its constitutional power to take administrative control of the Union in October 2021, following a review of the union’s administration, which was conducted by the SA Rugby Finance Committee and Executive Council,” the SARU statement said.

“It was determined by the ExCo that WPRFU failed the test of Clause 29 in that it no longer conducted its ‘business affairs in such a way that, at all times, they are in a sound financial position, comply with the laws of the Republic and adhere to the requirements of good governance.


“The assumption of administration was not challenged by the Union’s leadership.

“The powers of Clause 29 allow for the ‘suspension from office of their elected and/or appointed officials, and the appointment by SARU of administrators, who shall assume all decision-making powers of the unions at both governance and operational levels’.

“Those officials were suspended.

“That position has not changed.

“Any claims to the contrary or to challenge due process are misleading, vexatious, without any standing and should be ignored.”

* @rugby365com contacted Marais for comment and will publish once available.

* Additional reporting by @rugby365com

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