Zelt slapped with another ban
BREAKING NEWS: Zelt Marais’ hopes of reclaiming a position of prominence in the Western Province Rugby Football Union have been dealt a fatal blow.
The South African Rugby Union confirmed on Friday that the already suspended WPRFU President has been slapped with a 12-month ban.
This comes after he was first suspended when SARU placed the union under administration in October last year.
Marais has since stubbornly fought the national body, attempting to reclaim his presidency through a controversial ‘war room‘ – an external structure run by Marais-friendly people with no formal standing inside any structures in the game.
In March this year, SARU President Mark Alexander wrote to the WPRFU clubs and informed them that they will charge the controversial figure, Marais, with ‘misconduct’.
The hearing, which Marais did not attend, was completed earlier this month.
“He was found guilty and suspended from holding office at WPRFU or SARU for 12 months – from July 21,” a SARU spokesman told @rugby365com.
“He was found guilty of damaging the reputation of SARU and bringing the game into disrepute.”
It means all people suspended by Marais during his fractious rein have been cleared at disciplinary hearings, while Marais is the only person GUILTY of misconduct.
In March five suspended executive WPRFU members were cleared by a disciplinary hearing.
The five – then vice-president Ronald Bantom, Reuben Riffel, Quintin van Rooyen, Mario Williams and Anele Zita – were charged with being in breach of the WPRFU’s codes of conduct by Marais.
Last month Marais suffered another devastating blow in his long-standing dispute with former executive member Junaid Moerat.
As @rugby365com revealed, a WPRFU disciplinary hearing cleared Moerat on all charges brought against him by Marais – a saga that stretches back to February 2021.
Marais has presided over the demise of the union – which went from ZAR40-million in debt when he took over in 2018, to an estimated ZAR200-million in debt.
His almost dictatorial rein has also resulted in all the union’s properties being bonded to the Flyt/Dreamworld group – which launched one of several legal battles against Marais in the last two years.
The SARU President, Alexander, accused Marais of spreading misinformation based on “pipe dreams” based on “unverified financial claims or any kind of due diligence” and compounding by the “illegitimate use of digital letterheads”.
“His rhetoric is just a perplexing and destabilising attempt to claim a role from which he was constitutionally suspended and which he cannot exercise,” Alexander said
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