The dust has settled as Allister Coetzee was named as head coach of the Springboks for the next four years yesterday and perhaps it’s time for some housekeeping. Simply Allister Coetzee will only be as successful as the support he has surrounding him. The Corrupt SARU CEO will not help his course and must be removed.
As we look ahead we are inspired by the words of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng who said on Monday that ethical leadership is not an option but a national imperative, and that when we speak about corruption we refer to government only but what about corporate corruption? One of the things that has the potential to destroy us is when we blame everything on government and not on the private sector.
It against the backdrop of this wisdom that we take you back to 2013 when a reporter by the name of Greame Joffe opened a can of worms which would later see him fleeing the country for fear of life when exposed the corruption with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) involving the incumbent Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jurie Roux and former Stellenbosch Rugby Football club chairman, Chris de Beer.
The article published in the Citizen newspaper revealed that Mr de Beer was allegedly at the centre of the investigation, involving millions of rands. De Beer has already been dismissed by the University after he allegedly transferred funds from student accounts to a personal bank account to draw interest, while deputy director of student finances. Roux was chairman of the Stellenbosch University Rugby Football Club, chairman of the Varsity Cup (Pty) Ltd and a senior director of finances and asset management at Stellenbosch University, before being named the new chief executive of Saru. As a matter of fact De Beer took over from Roux as chairman of Maties rugby.
At that point it was clear that Roux had been caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Then it was reported that the University of Stellenbosch is suing South African Rugby Union (SARU) CEO Jurie Roux for R32m – the amount the Cape University believes Roux used to help fund the Maties Rugby Club. According to court documents, Roux and a colleague, Chris de Beer (then the deputy director of student fees), worked together between 2002 and 2010 where they made “unauthorised” transfers from the university’s reserve funds. The funds are believed to have been transferred to a variety of cost points related to the Maties Rugby Club, and used for a variety of club activities, including bursaries for players. Whilst to many Roux is a Robin Hood of sorts, it is inadvertently clear that there was some corruption here.
Most recently the Presidents of KwaZulu-Natal Rugby and Western Province Rugby, Graham MacKenzie and Thelo Wakefield, called on South Africa Rugby Union (Saru) President Oregan Hoskins to provide urgent, necessary leadership to address the growing disquiet around CEO Jurie Roux. However Hoskins renewed the CEOs contract and backed the man.
It was expected that the South African Government intervene however Gert Oosthuizen, deputy minister of sport and recreation, says the government is expecting feedback from SARU on the matter, but will only not step in until SARU’s internal processes are completed. This of course in contradiction to the intervention by Mbalula in the Gerald Majola case where the latter complained and said: “The minister overstepped his mark by interfering and he must be brought to book. This is like BJ Vorster who refused Basil d’Oliveira to play against South Africa for his adopted England.” Majola had claimed that the process that led to his hearing was illegal and went against International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations concerning government interference in the sport.
The facts are clear in the Corrupt SARU CEOs case and we are left with more questions than answers on the matter. In the main why has no action been taken against Roux by SARU and why has Fikile Mbalula not taken action on the matter as he had intervened in other cases? Where is the media coverage on the matter or is the media of the opinion that the matter is not of public interest?
As rugby enthusiasts and passionate followers we demand consistency from both SARU and the Sports Ministry on the matter or else #rouxmustfall #rouxpaybackthemoney #mbalulafixthisreloaded will be activated.