New boardroom twist for Stormers
REACTION: Western Province and Stormers boss Paul Zacks has dismissed a report that he has departed the franchise.
According to the Afrikaans weekly Rapport, Zacks has decided to accept a ‘severance package’ due to concerns over his own health.
The Sunday newspaper claimed an ‘interim committee’ will run the union, while a successor for Zacks is found.
The report of Zacks’ departure – after months of internal wrangling and unconfirmed reports of the ‘adverse findings’ in the Section 417 inquiry pertaining to the liquidation of the union’s professional arm in 2016 – came on the eve of the start of the 2020 Super Rugby season.
Zacks denied that he has already departed, adding that a “comprehensive statement” about his future will be released early next week.
“I can, however, advise that I have not departed,” Zacks told @rugby365com.
“I am currently still employed by and [I] am the Group CEO of WP Rugby,” he added.
The latest development follows a report last month that Zacks was to be ‘suspended’ after ‘a number of adverse findings’ in the final report of the Section 417 enquiry – pertaining to the liquidation of the union’s professional arm in 2016.
Media reports in December suggested Zacks could face a criminal investigation by the National Prosecutions Authority.
He was not suspended at the time, as the reports – quoting ‘well-placed sources’ – claimed was going to happen.
The Section 417 enquiry was initiated by media and publishing agency Aerios, who also laid fraud-related charges against WP Rugby’s board of directors.
Previous reports claimed Zacks was guilty of ‘obviously untrue’ evidence.
Charges such as fraud, misrepresentation and dishonesty were levelled against Zacks in relation to the enquiry.
Aerios CEO Costas Constantinou was not available for comment on Sunday.
WP Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais denied that he ‘interfered in the operations of the company’, WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd – which is part of Zacks’portfolio.
“If asking for information as a director is deemed to be interference, then there is definitely something wrong somewhere,” Marais told @rugby365com, when invited to comment on the latest boardroom developments.
Marais declined to comment further, despite media suggestions that he is at the centre of the boilover.