WPRFU: Marais, McKeever accused of 'lies and fabrications'
DEVELOPING NEWS: Suspended Western Province Rugby Football Union executive member Junaid Moerat has launched a scathing attack on President Zelt Marais and one of his close confidants, Tony McKeever.
Moerat, one of the most prominent members of the WPRFU executive, was recently suspended – on the day of his appointment as Interim Chief Executive of Western Province Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd.
That position has since been handed to Ruben Machelm, a personal assistant and close confidant of the President, Marais.
Moerat, in a letter to the ‘internal stakeholders’ of the WPRFU, finally broke his silence on the bizarre and contentious events of the past month.
Meanwhile, Marais has responded to Moerat’s attack with an equally strong statement. See below for Marais’ repsonse.
Moerat’s hearing has since been postponed, twice, without any explanation from Marais – the complainant in the case.
He stands accused of leaking information about a proposed agreement between WPRFU and French giants Stade Français to the media.
Moerat launched the stinging attack in the letter, distributed to clubs and stakeholders, in an attempt to clear his name.
He said the charge against him is an ‘injustice’ and accused Marais of ‘blackening’ his name and ‘misusing his office’ to defame Moerat in public.
“The evidence presented at the pre-hearing shows clearly that the suspension and charge were manufactured to specifically prevent the board from implementing the decision to appoint me as interim CEO,” Moerat said in his letter.
He also put the discredited former CEO of the now-defunct Southern Spears, McKeever, at the heart of what he labelled a ‘trumped-up charge’.
According to Moerat’s letter, McKeever was the author of a ‘draft media statement’ that was the source of the media ‘leaks’ for which he was suspended.
“The President [Marais] had both the McKeever media statement and the Rapport [newspaper] article for several weeks,” Moerat’s letter states – adding that it clearly shows where the leak could have emanated from.
“It is my opinion that Mr Marais misrepresented himself to the executive committee as well as the Board and withheld crucial information from them relating to the Stade Francais leak,” the Moerat letter said.
“The President continues to use union structures and resources to propagate this injustice against me and by extension against the union – in whose best interest he is supposed to serve,” the letter says.
In response, WPRFU President Marais said: “The WPRFU is aware of the recent statement by Mr Moerat to the Union’s internal stakeholders. The statement, and the libelous allegations made in it, is both unfortunate and ill-conceived. There are pending disciplinary proceedings against Mr Moerat. We therefore call on all parties to respect the Union’s disciplinary processes and to allow these processes to take its course.”
* The Junaid Moerat and Zelt Marais letter below in full!
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WPRFU President Zelt Marais’ response:
The WPRFU is aware of the recent statement by Mr Moerat to the Union’s internal stakeholders. The statement, and the libelous allegations made in it, is both unfortunate and ill-conceived. There are pending disciplinary proceedings against Mr Moerat. We therefore call on all parties to respect the Union’s disciplinary processes and to allow these processes to take its course.