Zelt gets his 'date with destiny'
UPDATE: Suspended Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais is moving ever closer to his ‘date with destiny’.
The South African Rugby Union are playing their cards close to its chest, but @rugby365com can reveal that Marais’ disciplinary hearing is set to take place in June.
Currently ‘legal arguments’ are taking place between the parties – the legal teams of Marais and SARU.
In March this year, SARU President Mark Alexander wrote to the WPRFU clubs and informed them that they will charge Marais with ‘misconduct’.
Marais faces 13 misconduct charges as a result of his constant badgering of the national body.
The date of the hearing has not been made public.
However, the Marais supporters group, the SARU SACOS Legends, has earmarked June 20 to 22 and June 27 & 28 as possible hearing dates.
Sources close to Marais also revealed that the embattled former WPRFU boss is still toying with the idea of going to court instead of continuing with the hearing.
SARU, in stark contrast, is very frugal with its information.
“The matter was referred to the disciplinary committee for review on 26 April 2022,” SARU told @rugby365com in a written reply, following a request for confirmation of the hearing date.
“The administrator awaits the response from the complaints review officer,” the SARU reply said.
“A person is automatically suspended when the complaints review officer has determined that a complaint should be referred to a hearing in accordance with clause 14.7.”
An unconfirmed weekend media report listed advocates Geoff Budlender (as Chairman), Ncumisa Mayosi and Lance Witten as the members of the disciplinary committee.
* Meanwhile two other legal matters following from Marais’ time as President of the cash-strapped WPRFU are still ongoing.
Junaid Moerat, suspended by Marais and who challenged the process in court, appears to be no closer to finality than when he withdrew his court application – subsequent to SARU placing WPRFU under administration.
“The disciplinary process against Junaid Moerat commenced prior to the administrator’s appointment and as the union’s constitution guarantees the disciplinary committee’s autonomy [see clause 188.8.131.52 of Constitution of WPRFU], the administrator will only be able to advise when an outcome is reached,” SARU told @rugby365com in a written reply.
“Meanwhile, we are waiting for a court date to determine costs,” SARU added.
* Another protracted saga, the case of five ExCo members suspended by Marais in a tumultuous 2021, is also still ongoing.
The five – then vice-president Ronald Bantom, Reuben Riffel, Quintin van Rooyen, Mario Williams and Anele Zita – were charged with being in breach of the WPRFU’s codes of conduct in October last year.
The case took a turn in the Western Cape high court and has been dragging on.
“The disciplinary committee met and the Chairman, Ricardo Collins has advised that post the meeting held he will be writing to the administrator in due course,” SARU said to @rugby365com.
“As outlined above, the administrator plays no role in the DC as an independent and autonomous body.”
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