WPRFU & Stade: McKeever was only a 'facilitator'
REACTION: Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais has downplayed the role of Tony McKeever in the ‘exploratory talks’ in the Stade Français Paris saga.
Marais, in reaction to the @rugby365com revelation that the conversations between Stade Français and WPRFU have ceased, described the discredited former Southern Spears CEO, McKeever, as “merely acting in a facilitating role”.
The WPRFU boss put himself in the driving seat, despite McKeever’s public declarations about his involvement.
“I wish to advise you that the President attended all meetings with Mr McKeever,” Marais said – finally breaking his silence on a series of questions that were first posed to him by this website more than a week ago.
Those questions were:
1. Does he have the mandate to act on behalf of WPRFU? If so, who gave him that mandate?
2. Does he have an official/formal position and/or title at WPRFU? (It is asked, because he claimed to act on behalf of WPRFU)
3. Was the Board or Executive Committee aware of McKeever’s intricate involvement in the Stade Français deal?
4. Or did McKeever, in his personal capacity, act of his own volition and without a proper mandate?
5. Or was he given ‘permission’ by a specific board member(s) to open negotiations?
Marais also described McKeever as having always displayed “the highest ethical standards” and his conduct and behaviour during the meetings as being “impeccable”.
Marais, further to @rugby365com‘s enquiries, revealed that the Chairman of Western Province Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd Ebrahim Rasool, a director of the company, the Head of Marketing Gavin Lewis and even coach John Dobson attended meetings.
This website was able to verify, independently, that these people did in fact partake in some meetings.
However, the name of the director was not revealed.
“The discussions we had are confidential,” Marais said, adding: “I am not at liberty to disclose any names to yourself at this stage.
“WP Rugby is an ethical organization and will always adhere to the highest corporate governance standards.”
Pressed on exactly what McKeever’s role was in the now-stalled talks, Marais said: The President is the Executive Head of WP Rugby.
“The President and Mr McKeever together attended all meetings with Stade Français.
“At no stage in our exploratory talks and negotiations did McKeever ever purport to be acting on behalf of WP Rugby.
“Mr McKeever was merely acting in a facilitating role.”
McKeever himself has not responded to @rugby365com requests for clarity on his involvement, despite his rather public exchanges with this website’s readers.
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