Net closing in around Zelt
NEWLANDS UPDATE: Suspended Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais may be thumbing his nose at the South African Rugby Union, but the net of retribution is fast closing in around the polemical official.
Marais set the proverbial cat among the pigeons last week when he dismissed the South African Rugby Union decision to place his province under administration as ‘illegal’ and ‘unlawful’.
In the letter, dated March 2 and sent electronically, Marais made it clear he is still acting in the capacity of WPRFU President.
SARU responded swiftly and a day later said they are “instituting proceedings through the appropriate legal channels” to prevent individuals from making ‘fraudulent claims‘.
Notwithstanding the threat of legal action, a new document – a draft contract for the sale of Newlands properties featuring Marais’ signature and dated March 4 – surfaced over the weekend.
Now the threats of legal action against Marais has been elevated to the next level.
@rugby365com can reveal that SARU CEO Jurie Roux’s legal team are preparing to file damages claims against Marais as a result of last week’s scathing letter.
Frikkie Erasmus, Roux’s lawyer, confirmed that they have started the process.
“The statements made by Zelt Marais about Jurie Roux are blatantly false and extremely defamatory,” Erasmus told @rugby365com, when asked for reaction to the letter sent by Marais.
“A summons for damages will be issued against him in the near future.”
The lawyer added that because of the serious nature of his statements, a charge of ‘criminal defamation‘ is not excluded at this stage.
Marais has not responded to a request for comment on the latest developments, including the draft contract bearing his signature.
@rugby365com has independently confirmed that one of the signatures on the draft contract – which does not list a seller, but clearly stipulates the terms for the sale – is that of Marais.
Marais was asked:
1. Can you confirm this was drafted and signed on Friday (March 4) – as the date on the contract suggests?
2. Who initiated this sale?
3. Who will receive the commission for the sale?
4. What is the percentage of the commission?
5. Have you reached an agreement with Flyt for the repayment of the loan?
The latest developments follow the scathing letter Marais wrote to SARU President Mark Alexander, his deputy Francois Davids, the members (clubs) of the council of WPRFU, the presidents of the 14 provincial unions and the members of the WPRFU executive committee.
Marais, going on the offensive, attempted to reclaim his position as the head of WPRFU.
He dismissed the SARU decision to place his province under administration as ‘illegal’ and ‘unlawful’.
“I am of the view that the so-called administration of the WPRFU has no legal and lawful basis,” Marais said in his letter.
“For that reason WPRFU will no longer consider itself to be under administration and will forthwith resume its activities as an autonomous and legal entity, being an association, affiliated to SARU.”
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