Headstrong Zelt reveals his 'alternative' benefactor
ONE-ON-ONE: Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais is standing his ground in the face of a multifaceted onslaught.
Apart from the threat of the national body, SA Rugby, implementing Section 28 of its constitution (placing WPRFU under administration) over the ongoing property stand-off, there is also a ‘vote of no confidence‘ brought on by the clubs this week.
Marais, speaking to @rugby365com in the wake of the turbulent events of the last fortnight, dismissed the threat of a ‘vote of no confidence‘ by the clubs.
It is the second time this year he has faced a ‘vote of no confidence‘ from within the club ranks – who are indignant in the face of Marais’ dismissive attitude towards their complaints and concerns.
As @rugby365com revealed, Monday afternoon (August 30) 21 clubs had filed letters in support of a vote of no confidence against Marais.
The WPRFU constitution requires 10 clubs to trigger a Special General Council meeting, within 15 days, for a vote of no confidence to be voted on.
The clubs threatened to go to court and call on SA Rugby to ‘intervene’ if a meeting is not convened within 15 days.
“Throughout the past two years we have raised concerns over Zelt Marais’ administrative competence,” the clubs said in the letter.
They also questioned his “integrity” and his “lack of respect” for fellow executive members.
However, Marais remains steadfast in his belief that he has done nothing wrong.
“There is no basis for a vote of no confidence,” Marais told @rugby365com in an interview, adding: “It is pure mischief-making.”
In the same interview, Marais also revealed that Nic Rademeyer is spearheading the ‘alternative’ that could replace Staytus in the redevelopment of the union’s properties.
Those properties – currently tied up in a legal dispute with the Flyt/Dream World group – are at the centre of the current boardroom stand-off between the pro-Marais and anti-Marais camps.
Staytus Cape (Pty) Ltd – under the guidance of WP Professional Rugby Chairman Ebrahim Rasool – engaged with and reached an agreement with Flyt and Dream World to settle ALL the WPRFU loans, mortgages, claims and the pending litigation in one transaction.
The deadline for Marais (and the WPRFU general council) to sign off on that deal was this past Tuesday, August 31.
However, despite resuming ‘talks’ on Monday – in the wake of the unproductive ranting and raving last Thursday – the WPRFU general council again failed to reach a conclusion.
As @rugby365com revealed, Staytus managed to negotiate an extension with Flyt – with Friday, September 3, the new deadline.
However, Marais made it clear this extension will be insufficient.
“The general council [meeting] resolved [on Monday night/Tuesday morning] not vote on the Staytus proposal,” Marais told @rugby365com.
“There is still critical information outstanding and in its current form it [the Staytus proposal] did not provide sufficient comfort for WPRFU for the short, medium and long term,” the WPRFU boss added.
“WPRFU requires an absolute guarantee in the development company to protect its assets and/or the share of its investment.
“The union also requires a greater level of certainty with regards to the future cash flows.”
Marais confirmed that Nic Rademeyer, who is representing a ‘global consortium’, is the alternative to the Staytus proposal.
“There is a non-disclosure agreement in place and our specialist team met with him just over a month ago,” Marais told this website.
Marais said his negotiating team comprises a combination of “highly specialist” persons – both within the WPRFU structures (executive and non-executive) and external.
“It [the team] includes corporate law, corporate structured finance, financial accounting and discounted cash flows, and corporate taxation amongst others,” he added.
Rademeyer told @rugby365com that Anicra (Pty) LTD is a business development company that represents several investors – both locally and international.
“We are not the investor,” he said.
“We were mandated [by WPRFU] to look at the redevelopment of the properties,” adding that they take a ‘humanitarian’ approach to the redevelopment.
“It [Newlands] is the second oldest rugby stadium in the world,” Rademeyer said, adding: “There is a heritage to it.
“Our approach is to re-purpose the stadium and not rip WPRFU apart.”
Also worth reading
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Witch-hunt and those mysterious letters
How Staytus can save WPRFU’s bacon
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SA Rugby trying to keep WPRFU out of court
New financial bomb drops on WPRFU
The snake pit that is WPRFU v Flyt
WPRFU and Dreamworld court stand-off just got real
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