Cape Town - The lawyer of embattled South African rugby boss Jurie Roux has for the past two years been selling sports supplements to the South African Rugby Union (SARU) worth hundreds of thousands of rands without paying SARU the standard license fee for using the valuable SA Rugby logo on his products.
SARU's decision to source energy gels, protein shakes and supplements from Frikkie Erasmus, Roux's lawyer - who also represents SARA itself as well as the union's head of rugby Rassie Erasmus in legal matters - apparently caused great discomfort and unhappiness among SARU employees when the deal was struck in 2013 due to concerns over a possible conflict of interest.
Frikkie Erasmus is the sole director of EE Sportconsult Nutrition, from which SARU buys nutrition products in the BokPulse range.
The supplements are used by four SARU high performance rugby teams, including the senior Springbok side and the Springbok Sevens team.
Frikkie Erasmus and Rassie Erasmus are also fellow directors of the similarly named company EE Sportconsult, but Frikkie denied that this company was in any way involved in the supplements deal.
The BokPulse range - which is also stocked in Dis-chem stores across the country - are "officially licensed" SA Rugby products and bear the Springbok logo, but Rapport has established that Frikkie Erasmus's company has to date not paid a cent in licensing fees for the use of the logo.
Licensees of SA Rugby normally pay SARU considerable fees to use the SA Rugby logo on their products. The union raked in some R13 million in the last financial year from its 80 licensees.
SARU's own code of conduct states SARU officials and employees "may not use their position or privileges within SARU for private gain or to benefit another person improperly."
SARU's conflict of interest also states that individuals related to SARU may "not solicit or obtain for themselves or relatives, friends or any other person, a material benefit of any kind from his association with SARU."
Both Frikkie Erasmus and SARU denied the BokPulse deal transgressed these rules.
Both said the SARU executive council was well aware of Erasmus' role as the union's, Roux's and Rassie Erasmus's lawyer when SARU decided to start purchasing the BokPulse products.