The Eastern Province Rugby Union was liquidated in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
The cash-strapped EPRU was placed under provisional liquidation on 10 March after failing to resolve its ongoing financial woes, which has seen the union sink millions of rand into debt.
Joint liquidation proceedings on behalf of some 36 players were first heard in the PE High Court, with EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd being given until 10 May to settle the outstanding debts or face the prospect of the order becoming final.
There appeared to be the prospect of a much-needed lifeline when EP Rugby filed a business rescue application just before the May deadline, which then saw court proceedings postponed to 4 August in order to allow the concerned parties to have sufficient time to study the proposal.
However, numerous doubts were subsequently raised over the credibility of the proposed investor, and the business rescue bid was recently withdrawn.
When the matter returned to the PE High Court on Thursday, the provisional liquidation order was made final, with the next step now turning to the recovery of owed debts.
Lawyer Craig Jessop, who has represented a number of the players who brought the original application, confirmed to SARugbymag.co.za that a liquidator would now step in to wrap up the matter.
‘The players are satisfied that liquidation has been finalised and the next phase is now to look at the recovery of the money owed. A liquidator will take over affairs and will look to act in the best interests of the creditors. We will now work closely with the liquidator in this regard.’