WPRFU court saga: It is a stalemate
NEWS UPDATE: Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday.
However, it may well be a temporary reprieve.
Marais faced five members of his own executive committee in the Cape High Court.
The five – vice-president Ronald Bantom, Reuben Riffel, Quintin van Rooyen, Mario Williams and Anele Zita – asked the court to remove Marais from office.
@rugby365com can reveal that judge Patrick Gamble struck the matter off the high court roll, because he does not regard it as urgent.
In the application, they accused Marais of making unilateral decisions with contract negotiations, failing or refusing to execute and implement regulations of the WPRFU ExCo and council and withholding information from members of ExCo and the council.
They also accused him of being ‘in breach of his fiduciary duties’ and that he is ‘delinquent’.
However, the judge struck the case off the roll and stood over costs – leaving the door open for the parties to return at a later date.
It is possible this could be refiled once the ExCo members’ legal team obtain supplementary documents that could strengthen their case.
Judge Gamble suggested the warring parties should first exhaust the internal structures and processes – which seems unlikely, given the history and the nature of the boardroom disputes.
For now, it is a ‘stalemate’, but the drama is far from over.
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It is the latest in the ever-escalating stand-off between Marais and members of his ExCo, following the fractious and acrimonious developments of the last few months.
This week alone Marais avoided a ‘vote of no confidence‘ from the clubs with a gladiatorial stance at a meeting he chaired – even though delegates argued he should not chair a meeting in which he is accused of wrongdoing.
According to information provided to @rugby365, the vote could not take place as there was fighting over technicalities and letters from clubs were not even tabled.
It was revealed that Marais refused to leave Monday’s gathering and he requested clubs to show minutes of the meetings where they agreed to have a vote of no confidence in him.
Marais also threatened to put clubs under administration.
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