SARU to formally charge Zelt with misconduct
REACTION: The South African Rugby Union has finally broken its silence in the face of suspended Western Province Rugby Union President Zelt Marais’ ongoing public attacks.
SARU President Mark Alexander on Saturday wrote to the WPRFU clubs and informed them that they will charge Marais with ‘misconduct’.
Alexander accused Marais of spreading misinformation on “pipe dreams” based on “unverified financial claims or any kind of due diligence” and compounding by the “illegitimate use of digital letterheads”.
“We will therefore be charging your suspended President, Zelt Marais, under the SARU code of conduct for bringing the game into disrepute,” Alexander said
“His rhetoric is just a perplexing and destabilising attempt to claim a role from which he was constitutionally suspended and which he cannot exercise.”
It is seen as the last straw for the desperate former WPRFU boss, who has been a polemical figure since he beat off Peter Jooste in a hotly contested election in 2018.
“When the executive council of SA Rugby reluctantly decided in October last year that we could no longer stand by and watch such a cornerstone union of our federation be so thoroughly mismanaged that it was in imminent danger of financial collapse,” the SARU boss said in his letter.
He also explained why they were initially reluctant to make public statements.
“We determined that one of the first priorities was to take the ‘noise out of the machine’.
“The frequent reports of infighting among leadership, of signed and then failed property deals and then imminent and then failed equity deals and of last-minute, multi-million-rand new deals were disastrous for the union’s credibility.”
And the letter is not sparing Marais and his failed administration.
“Our attempt to form a joint steering committee to assist the incumbent leadership to plan their way back to a sustainable future also failed through lack of transparency, misinformation, and an unwillingness on your leadership to fully engage,” Alexander said.
He said they will address many issues at the meeting on March 29, with invitations sent to the clubs this past Thursday.
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