Zelt 'wins' first round ... in court
NEWS UPDATE: Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais scored a crucial ‘win’ in the Western Cape high court on Friday.
The outcome of the hearing – in which Mario Williams brought an urgent application to set aside his suspension – means the executive member, Williams, has to face a WPRFU disciplinary hearing next Thursday, September 23.
Williams is charged with allegedly ‘disseminating confidential financial and commercial information’ of the now-disbanded WPRFU/SARU joint advisory committee.
The charges against the executive member, that resulted in his suspension – pending next Thursday’s hearing – relates to messages he send on the social media platform WhatsApp in which he criticised Marais.
While the judge ‘stood over’ the costs of Friday’s hearing and also did not rule on whether the WPRFU process was lawful, Williams must now submit himself to a process he feels is flawed.
However, the judge left the door open for Williams to return to court to challenge the process at a later date.
Williams is not the first executive member to challenge the WPRFU disciplinary process, after being suspended – based on a complaint from the President, Marais.
(Continue below …)
The Marais versus Williams episode is similar to the Junaid Moerat saga – a stalled disciplinary hearing which is also currently playing itself out in the Cape High court.
The one significant difference is that Moerat got an interdict in court to stop the hearing from proceeding.
Williams, in contrast, will now have to go face his accusers.
It relates to a document – the minutes of a WPRFU/SARU advisory committee meeting held on August 21 – which the national body wanted Marais to distribute to the clubs and other general council constituents.
Marais 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.
As @rugby365com reported Rasool, the Chairman of WP Professional Rugby, is the man who distributed the document Marais wanted to keep away from the August 26 meeting.
Williams was charged with and suspended for criticising Marais for his unwillingness to share information with the council members.
Also worth reading
Zelt recruits World Cup-winning Bok for his ‘war room’
SARU ultimatum has WPRFU scrambling
Why is WPRFU courting Anicra again?
Zelt: WPRFU won’t be held to ransom
SARU pulls the plug on WPRFU
Zelt faces new legal threat
Zelt reveals his ‘alternative’ benefactor
New call for ‘vote of no confidence’ in Zelt
Witch-hunt and those mysterious letters
WPRFU and Dreamworld court stand-off just got real