Big 'no show' a vote of no confidence in Zelt
NEWLANDS UPDATE: Zelt Marais suffered a decisive setback in his battle to regain control of the Western Province Rugby Football Union structures.
Only four of the 90-odd clubs of the union had representation at the ‘council meeting’ called by the suspended WPRFU President, Marais, on Monday.
@rugby365com could later determine that the only clubs who had representatives there were Temperance, Violets, Kraaifontein and Van der Stel.
Not only was Marais and a small group of supporters – there were between 20 and 30 people, including wives – locked out of Newlands, but the lack of numbers meant they could not form a quorum.
The bulk of the visitors, who casually stood around outside the stadium entrance near the Sports Science Institute, was made up of non-affiliated associates and friends – some of whom carried self-made placards in support of the embattled official.
The latest developments mean Marais – who was suspended when the South African Rugby Union placed WPRFU under administration in October last year – has now lost the support of the clubs that have kept him in power since 2018.
It is also a massive victory for the clubs who wanted to stage a ‘vote of no- confidence’ in Marais last year, but were thwarted by his power games.
Marais did not respond to @rugby365com‘s offer to comment on the big flop on Monday.
However, it did not stop one of his close allies, Philip Burns, to file a case of fraud against SARU.
Burns, who was suspended from his position on the board of directors of Western Province Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd, has taken exception to a decision by SARU – through its appointed administrator, Rian Oberholzer – to appoint a new board.
The placing of WPRFU into administration by SARU had been triggered, amongst other developments, by the collective resignation of the independent directors of WPPR (excluding Philip Burns, who is aligned to Marais) in protest against the destructive leadership style of Zelt Marais.
He claims SARU and/or the administrator committed fraud and has laid criminal charges against SARU.
The appointment of the new directors – Crispin Sonn, Zinzi Mgolodela and Oberholzer – were announced by SARU last week.
Bruce MacRobert was also added to the newly constituted board.
It is contained in a letter sent to the clubs and affiliates on March 15.
This has not stopped Burns from writing to Marais and revealing to him that he has laid criminal charges in regards to the new board.
“It has come to my attention that various irregular changes have been performed in the company directorship registry and which have or are to be recorded in the CIPC records systems,” Burns said in his communiqué to Marais – dated March 16.
In a previous billet-doux to Marais, Burns threatened to lay criminal charges against SARU – an action he has now followed through on.
“I consider the changes to constitute fraud and have reported the full extent of the incident to SAPS and to the DPCI-Hawks Western Cape, for immediate investigation,” Burns said.
“I; hereby; wish to inform the Shareholder thereof and will communicate further details in confidence to the shareholder representatives upon their request.
“I respectfully request your kind assistance in alerting the shareholders to this high-risk incident of fraud and the attempt to capture the Company by SARU and SARU affiliated persons.”
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