WPRFU: The price of associating with Zelt Marais
UPDATE: Associating with or supporting suspended Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais will come at a hefty cost.
This is the blunt warning from South African Rugby Union administrator Rian Oberholzer to the union’s clubs and members.
@rugby365com can also reveal that Marais – as a result of his ongoing behaviour – will most likely face two sets of disciplinary action in the near future.
Marais, who persists with the claim that he is the legitimate WPRFU President, has already been served by SARU and will face 13 charges at a disciplinary hearing.
The date for this hearing is yet to be made public.
The SARU administrator, in his letter on Thursday, confirmed that the suspended former President’s conduct has also been referred to the WPRFU’s Complaints Review Officer.
It means Marais is likely to face disciplinary hearings for being in breach of both the SARU and WPRFU code of conduct regulations.
The latest steps follow complaints from a number of clubs, after Marais held a self-styled ‘council meeting’ at a Newlands hotel at the weekend. (Read that report here!)
As reported by @rugby365com this week (read here), several clubs filed formal complaints with the office of the SARU-appointed administrator and some of Marais’ new ‘ExCo’ members also distanced themselves from the weekend’s meeting and Marais’ statement this week.
The administrator moved swiftly in response to the complaints.
“The actions of Zelt Marais (and others) are in contravention of his suspension by SARU, as well as the constitution and bylaws of WPRFU,” the administrator’s letter read.
He confirmed the receipt of several “letters of complaint” from clubs.
“In terms of the bylaws [of WPRFU], we have referred these complaints to the Complaints Review Officer to determine whether the complaints should proceed to a hearing before a tribunal.”
If the Complaints Review Officer decides to charge Marais, he will also be suspended by the WPRFU – on top of his SARU suspension.
“To be clear, while WPRFU is under administration, Zelt Marais is suspended and has no locus standi in respect of either the structures of WPRFU and/or WPPR,” the administrator said in his letter.
He also warned all those supporting Marais that they also face stern disciplinary action if they act in contravention of the constitution and bylaws.
“The consequences [of being in breach of the regulations] include the possibility of a fine, suspension of clubs and individuals and any other action that the disciplinary committee may determine.”
The administrator stated that his next meeting with the clubs is scheduled for May 9.
* Read the administrator’s full letter below!
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