Province sends two officials packing
NEWS: It seems like the drama in the Western Province boardroom is still far from dwindling down.
In a very brief statement, the Western Province Rugby Football Union revealed that the positions of Johan van der Merwe and Andre van der Veen as independent directors on the board of the company that runs professional rugby in the province have come to an end.
The statement added: “WPRFU as the sole shareholder of Western Province Professional Rugby Proprietary Limited considered and then confirmed that the terms of office for the above directors as independent directors on the board of WPPR will not be renewed after the conclusion of the AGM [on Friday].
“WPRFU as the sole shareholder extended its gratitude and appreciation for the contributions made by these gentlemen to professional rugby in Cape Town for the period that they served Western Province and wishes them well for their future endeavours,”
The latest news out the Newlands camp followed a long list of tug-of-war battle in the boardroom.
Since Zelt Marais became the WPRFU President in November 2018, there has been as many plots and sub-plots as the most notorious soap opera – the latest one involving an American company, MVM Holdings, headed by leading South African lawyer Marco Masotti.
According to reports, WPRFU was ready to ‘sell’ a controlling share (of 51 percent) of the company, WP Rugby, to MVM Holdings and another that suggested the Marais camp is NOT willing to cede power to the Yanks because the US$6-million (just over ZAR100-million) is actually a loan and not an investment.
It was indeed this various media leaks which instigated the mayhem in the camp.
At the beginning of August, Marais accused some the board members of misusing their position of ‘trust to feed the media information that is mostly quoted out of context or leaked with the sole purpose of influencing outcomes in the boardroom,”
He also labelled their behaviour as ‘treasonous acts’ and requested they ‘vacate’ their positions.
Whether this could be a sign of stability for the board, the mutual separation between Western Province and the group of independent directors, Van der Merwe and Van der Veen (who was reportedly tasked with finding equity investors) may have thrown a major spanner in the deal with MVM Holdings.
It has been suggested that MVM Holdings (a company fronted by Durban-born lawyer Marco Masotti) wanted Van der Veen to run WP Rugby if they take over the professional arm.
His absence may be an indication that WPRFU is NOT willing to cede power to the Yanks just yet.
Also worth reading …
OPINION: Jan de Koning’s take on the saga
Province President apologises for ‘misunderstanding’
WPRFU boss responds to ‘takeover bid’
‘Treasonous acts’ within WP Rugby
Full private equity: ‘It is a conversation SA unions must have’
Other recent statements worth reading …