Marais: WP has been devastated from within

Western Province Rugby Union president Zelt Marais has written to their clubs claiming they are in good hands amid reported plans to remove him from his position.

In a letter addressed to the union’s shareholders and clubs, Marais suggested that claims that Western Province is a directionless organisation cannot be further from the truth.

The letter, published by Rapport newspaper, also contained claims from Marais that leaks from within the union’s ranks are to blame for the damage to the union’s brand.

Marais was this month forced to backtrack on comments he made about the failed Investec-Remgro deal, the ongoing saga with developers Flyt, the move to Cape Town Stadium and the failed negotiations with MVM Holdings.

‘The union has been devestated by an unknow person or persons, unfortunately from within its structures, which leaked confidential information to unauthorized third parties,’ Marais wrote.

‘Given the fallout due to these leaks, it seems there is a careful strategy behind it, to undermine the union’s commercial and sports efforts in general, and my presidency – especially the mandate you [the WP clubs] have given me.

‘We are making steady progress in this regard. We hope to eradicate this plague soon. The union deliberately did not return the spate of balls kicked at us by the media. It is of little use to get involved in a war of words with anonymous people.’

Meanwhile, according to Rapport, around 12 clubs – under the leadership of Tygerberg Rugby Club – have written to SA Rugby, requesting that they step in and take charge of the WPRU, as they have ‘lost all confidence’ in the current management.

According to the report, the clubs that signed the letter feel that the entire executive committee should be shown the door along with Marais. The letter was reportedly written amid plans to remove Marais from his position with a vote of no confidence and install Ronald Bantom, Marais’ former confidant, as his replacement.

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Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images