Watson remains the King at EP

Cheeky Watson (Gallo Images)
Cheeky Watson (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Cheeky Watson remains as president of the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) after surviving a motion of no confidence against him.

A meeting was held in Port Elizabeth on Saturday where several EPRU clubs attempted to unseat Watson as president of the union.

The clubs that wanted Watson out needed 63 votes (a two-thirds majority), but according to SA Rugbymag.co.za, got only 52 votes, while 40 voted against the motion.

The clubs have on several occasions this year tried to convene to vote for a motion of no confidence against Watson, but on each occasion the meetings were postponed due to some technicality.

Qondakele Sompondo, a spokesperson for the unhappy clubs, was not a happy camper after the meeting finally took place.

“We are questioning the fact that the executive voted for itself,” Sompondo said. “SA Rugby allowed them to vote even though the constitution states clearly that only the clubs should vote. How can the people who are being voted out get to vote? Nine of their 40 votes came from the executive?!

“Another question is why SA Rugby did not invoke clause 28 of its own constitution, which states that when SA Rugby takes over an administration, a provincial executive ceases to exist.”

Monde Tabata, who is acting as an administrator at EP on behalf of SARU, told Netwerk24 that the union remains under control of SA Rugby.

“Don’t forget that there are people at management level who boast experience who could contribute to help make the union a healthy one again."

Tabata said it could take long before SA Rugby hands back control to the EPRU, pointing to the fact that the Border Rugby Union has been controlled by SA Rugby for the past three years.

Under Watson as president, the EPRU plunged into a financial crisis last year, with the union unable to pay players’ salaries.

Watson had promised a R200m sponsorship for the Kings but this failed to materialise, with players forced to accept food vouchers following the non-payment of salaries.

SA Rugby was forced to step in and take control of the union which was liquidated last month.

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