• More drama at WPRFU as Marais accused of ‘misusing his office’

    Junaid Moerat, suspended executive member of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU), has penned a letter accusing president Zelt Marais of propagating injustice.

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    Moerat, a prominent WPRFU executive, was suspended on the same day he was appointed to the position of interim CEO of Western Province Professional Rugby (WPPR).

    His position has since gone to Ruben Machelm, who was the personal assistant to Marais and understood to be a close ally.

    Moerat was suspended after his accused involvement in leaking information about a proposed agreement between WPRFU and French rugby’s Stade Francais. His hearing has been suspended twice, apparently without justification from Marais who is the complainant.

    In an attempt to clear his name, Moerat has written a letter to stakeholders claiming that Marais has used his position in order to falsely accuse Moerat, defame him and ‘blacken’ his name.

    ‘The evidence presented at the pre-hearing shows clearly that the suspension and charge were manufactured to specifically prevent the board from implementing the decision to appoint me as interim CEO.’

    Moerat goes further to accuse Tony McKeever, former CEO of the Southern Spears and close confidant of Marais, of being the actual source of the leak. Moerat claims that McKeever drafted a media statement about the proposed agreement with Stade Francais, and that this was the genesis of the leak.

    In his letter, Moerat states that Marais was aware of the draft media statement but did not act appropriately in disclosing this knowledge to the board.

    ‘It is my opinion that Mr Marais misrepresented himself to the executive committee as well as the Board and withheld crucial information from them relating to the Stade Francais leak.

    ‘The President continues to use union structures and resources to propagate this injustice against me and by extension against the union – in whose best interest he is supposed to serve.’

    Marais has been quick to release a statement rebuking the allegations against him in Moerat’s letter.

    ‘The WPRFU is aware of the recent statement by Mr Moerat to the Union’s internal stakeholders. The statement, and the libelous allegations made in it, is both unfortunate and ill-conceived.

    ‘There are pending disciplinary proceedings against Mr Moerat. We therefore call on all parties to respect the Union’s disciplinary processes and to allow these processes to take its course.’

     

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