SA Rugby boss Jurie Roux ordered to pay back R37m 'misappropriated' from Stellenbosch University

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Jurie Roux
Jurie Roux
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  • SA Rugby Union boss Jurie Roux has been ordered to pay R37m to the University of Stellenbosch.
  • Before Roux took the helm at the rugby union, he occupied high-level positions at the university’s Finance Department.
  • During this time, he was alleged to have improperly channeled university funds to the Maties Rugby Club. 

SA Rugby Union (SARU) chief executive Jurie Roux has been ordered to repay R37 million, which an arbitrator found had been misappropriated from the coffers of Stellenbosch University during his tenure at the institution's finance department.  

Roux, between 2002 and 2010, had held senior positions in the university's finance department, and had been accused of manipulating the electronic accounting system to channel millions in unbudgeted expenditure to the Maties rugby club.

While rising through the ranks of the university's administration, Roux was also installed in leadership positions at the rugby club.

Roux took the helm at SARU in 2013, the same year audit firm KPMG submitted a preliminary report – which delved into Roux's splurge – to the university, which found that he manipulated the finance system to make the payments.

Auditors also made adverse findings against Roux's friend and former colleague, Chris de Beer, who also straddled leadership positions in the university's finance department and rugby club.

READ | Arbitration battle kicks off between Stellenbosch University, SA Rugby boss

After a protracted legal skirmish, Roux and the university agreed to have their dispute arbitrated by advocate Alasdair Sholto-Douglas SC in a series of closed-door sittings, which began in late 2019.

On Wednesday, Sholto-Douglas delivered his damning ruling, in which he found that Roux had breached the terms of his contract with Stellenbosch University by not acting in their best interests.

"In allocating the university's funds to the four cost centres (without authorisation or budgeting) constituted a breach of his employment contract, which gave rise to the university suffering damages in the amount alleged in the particulars of claim, namely R35 312 004.

"I find also that he breached his contract of employment by incurring expenditure of R1 804 398 on behalf of the university in relation to the Western Province Rugby Institute when he was not authorised to do so and in circumstances where the university had not in fact incurred such an obligation," he said.

He also ordered that De Beer repay R2 million he had had a hand in fleecing from the university.

SA Rugby noted the findings.

"We have referred the matter to our legal advisers for their advice on governance matters, as we have throughout this process," it said in a statement.

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