SA Rugby is believed to be putting measures in place to ensure there can be no legal challenges should a decision be made to place the Western Province Rugby Football Union under administration.
The latest in the behind-the-scenes boardroom saga comes a week after a vote of no confidence against WPRFU president Zelt Marais failed.
Marais was set to face a vote of no confidence on the evening of 20 September as he has come under fire for disobeying and acting in direct conflict with the instructions of the joint WPRFU and SA Rugby advisory committee.
However, the vote did not take place as there were arguments over technicalities with Marais reportedly refusing to leave the meeting and demanding that clubs showed him the minutes of the meeting where they decided to hold a vote of no confidence. Marais further apparently threatened to place clubs into administration.
According to a report on DailyMaverick.co.za, the union now faces the possibility of being placed under administration because of a series of management failures, which has brought the union to its knees financially.
The website reports that SA Rugby (Saru) has done extensive legal research to make sure that if they step in, there can be no legal challenges from Marais or anyone else in a position of power at WP.
Clause 29.1 of SA Rugby’s constitution gives the governing body the right to take over the running of a union if it fails to meet several criteria:
“All unions have to conduct their business affairs in such a way that, at all times, they are in a sound financial position, comply with the laws of the Republic and adhere to the requirements of good governance inter alia as expounded in the King Report on Governance for South Africa, 2009 (‘the King Report’) and the King Code of Governance for South Africa, 2009 (‘the King Code’) which came into effect on 1 March 2010, and to ensure that their commercial companies, if any, similarly conduct their business affairs in such a way that, at all times, they are in a sound financial position, comply with the laws of the Republic and be guided by the requirements of good governance.”
Should WP go into administration, the first step would be to suspend funding to the union and then to suspend the WPRFU as a member of SA Rugby.
SA Rugby would then remove all WPRFU’s governance structures and appoint an administrator who would ensure the day-to-day running of the union goes smoothly, that decisions were made in the best interests of the union, and develop a business rescue plan if needed.
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