Tygerberg goes after Rasool and other Zelt dissenters
INVESTIGATION: The contemptuous Western Province Rugby Football Union boardroom stand-off took another outré twist in what appears tit-for-tat behaviour.
@rugby365com can reveal that Ebrahim Rasool, Chairman of the board of WP Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd, has become the target of Tygerberg – one of 90-odd cubs in the union.
In a letter, addressed to WPRFU President Zelt Marais, the club asks for the removal of Rasool “as a matter of urgency”.
The same club is also going after other Marais dissenters – the five members of the Executive Committee who made an urgent application in the Cape High court on Thursday to remove Marais from office.
The five – vice-president Ronald Bantom, Reuben Riffel, Anele Zita, Quintin Van Rooyen and Mario Williams – lost in round one of what is likely to be another protracted legal battle involving the union’s President.
Tygerberg claims the applicants brought the name of WPRFU and the President into “disrepute” – accusing them of “sensation-seeking” behaviour.
“Tygerberg, therefore, requests that our internal processes are used to investigate their actions and if necessary, take appropriate action against them,” the club said in the letter.
It is believed both motions will be tabled at a WPRFU General Council meeting on Monday.
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It is ironic that the club, Tygerberg, is now fighting in the Marais corner, in this knock-down, drag-out saga – having been at the forefront of the drive to have Marais removed from office by sending a written request to the SA Rugby Union to step in.
Tygerberg’s letter to SARU was supported by 15 other clubs and motivated by the numerous failed property deals that have put all the union’s properties in the hands of the Flyt/Dream World group.
The action against Rasool relates to a strongly-worded letter the company Chairman released a week ago.
Rasool, in a five-page letter, fired some powerful salvos in the direction of the WPRFU President, Marais.
The former Premier of the Western Cape and an ambassador accused Marais of “unilaterally” creating a structure – or War Room as Marais called it – that bypasses formal pre-existing structures in the WPRFU.
Rasool also accused Marais of “megalomania” and having centralized all power in his person – as President of WPRFU, board member of WPPR, acting CEO of WPRFU, head of the finance committee and now leader of a War Room.
He said he is willing to step down if the “majority of the clubs” wish him to do so.
“I have fought for democracy all my life,” Rasool told @rugby365com in response to the Tygerberg charge.
“If it is the democratic will of a majority of clubs, that I should be removed, I will welcome that,” Rasool said, adding that it should be ‘tested’ in the appropriate forum.
“I will not obstruct it [the process] in any way, nor will I fear it!
“If the clubs have spoken, I will respect it.
“All I ask is that all leaders are judged by the same standard.”
The ExCo five were not available for comment at the time of writing this article.
Their reaction will be included should it become available.
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