New call for 'vote of no confidence' in Zelt Marais
Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais has been given another lifeline in his disputatious and problematical reign at Newlands, as clubs are beginning to run out of patience.
Flyt has extended the deadline for reaching a settlement that could avoid an aeonic, baroque and prohibitive legal battle over the union’s properties.
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 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.
@rugby365com can reveal that Staytus has managed to negotiate an extension with Flyt – with Friday, September 3, the new deadline.
It appears even this extension will be insufficient.
As has become custom Monday’s virtual gathering was again marked by much indignant mud-slinging.
As a result, when the meeting was eventually stopped at 02.30 Tuesday Morning – when so many people had left that they no longer had a quorum – no decision was taken and Marais told the few remaining constituents in the gathering that a ‘new’ meeting will be called.
Marais confirmed no notice for a new meeting has gone out.
“Once all the outstanding information is received and critically analysed, then it [the new meeting] will be convened,” the WPRFU President told @rugby365com.
Marais also, for the second time this year, faced a ‘vote of no confidence’ from within the club ranks.
As was the case earlier this year, Marais sidestepped questions about the disapproval from the clubs and went on the offensive after Monday’s meeting.
However, @rugby365com can reveal that 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.
* See the full letter below ...
The latest developments follow the fractious and often chaotic WPRFU general council meeting last week, in which the union President, Marais, came under fire for acting in direct conflict to the instructions of a WPRFU/SA Rugby advisory committee on which he serves.
The six-man WPRFU/SA Rugby advisory committee consists of Marais, Patrick Kuhn, Samuel Ngumeni, Abubakar Saban, Ebrahim Rasool and Colin Moses.
It transpired that certain documentation – the minutes of an advisory committee meeting held last Saturday, August 21 – caused considerable discord in last Thursday’s meeting.
Marais, who was tasked with distributing the document, became very defensive and claimed he wanted an ‘amendment’ to the document before passing it on to council members.
However, the document was ‘released’ to constituents through informal channels, a move that riled Marais and caused some heated debate.
In fact, Marais accused those who released the document of ‘treason’.
It turns out that Rasool, the Chairman of WP Professional Rugby, is the man who distributed the document Marais wanted to keep away from the clubs and WPRFU constituents.
Marais appears to be opposed to a proposal to accept a deal that will see Staytus Cape (Pty) Ltd become the union’s new benefactor.
He told Monday’s meeting that there are an ‘alternative option’ on the table – naming Nicholas Rademeyer as the potential benefactor.
The WPRFU President, Marais, who was tasked with distributing the two-page letter and recommendation that the Staytus deal must be accepted to the members of the WPRFU general council.
However, in stark contrast to the instructions of the advisory committee, Marais instead distributed a document from the lawyers Korbers Incorporated – which is advising against accepting the deal.
It is worth noting that Korbers are also litigating for the WPRFU against Flyt.
The WPRFU legal bill for 2021 has already exceeded ZAR3-million.
This website has reached out to Marais to ask if a new meeting has ben scheduled and when, but no response has been forthcoming by the time of publication.
His comments will be added should Marais responds to our request.
Also worth reading
Witch-hunt and those mysterious letters
How Staytus can save WPRFU’s bacon
WPRFU sell property shares to assist with ‘cash flow’
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
McKeever was only a ‘facilitator’
WPRFU & Stade: Another McKeever misfire