Leopards president denies anti-transformation stance

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Andre May (Gallo Images)
Andre May (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Leopards Rugby Union president Andre May has given reasons as to why his union refrained from signing SA Rugby’s transformation charter.

May, who will challenge incumbent Mark Alexander for the SA Rugby presidency on Friday, April 6, was responding to a column posted by Sport24 on Thursday.

Columnist Mark Keohane hit out at May for not signing the transformation charter.

“He shouldn’t be in South African rugby, let alone a candidate to lead the sport in 2018,” Keohane wrote, in reference to May.

May responded to the column on Friday, giving reasons as to why his union did not sign the document.

May's letter read:

Dear Mark

I refer to your article of 15 March 2018 with the title "Don't blame transformation for SA rugby woes".  

Unfortunately your source did not give you the correct information.

Your allegation that I refused to sign Saru's Transformation Charter is incorrect. There are two events that are relevant in this regard. The first being the Transformation Indaba held at Monte Casino when I refused to sign the agreement due to mistakes that it contained. The meeting agreed with me, the document was amended and everybody (including me) signed the document. The second event was the meeting of the General Council when the Transformation Charter had to be approved. This was not a question of anybody signing any document but a question of voting for the approval of the Transformation Charter.  

Despite numerous requests that the Transformation Charter be sent to the different unions before the meeting, the Executive Council elected not to adhere to these requests with the effect that we were not able to study the document before the meeting. Slides of the document were projected at the meeting and the chairman rather hastily went through the document, despite complaints from the meeting that we were not able to read the document that were being projected, due to the size of the lettering. 

The Leopards Rugby Union abstained from the voting, but put on record that we fully support transformation, but refused to approve the Transformation Charter on the basis that we are not willing to approve any document that we are not able to read and do not know the content of. That is a basic principle and still remains our (and my) position.  

Let me make it very clear to you. The Leopards and I fully support transformation and specifically the Transformation Charter of Saru. This is then also the reason why I am committed to ensure that the game will be broadcasted to the broader public and not only to those who can afford expensive television packages.  

You are also invited to visit the Leopards Rugby Union to familiarise yourself with the state of transformation at the Leopards.  

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