Super Rugby

Wakefield denies Newlands used to cover WP's debt

Thelo Wakefield (Gallo Images)
Thelo Wakefield (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield has denied reports that  Newlands has been used as security for the union’s outstanding debts.

The WPRU owes investment company Remgro an amount believed to be about R44 million and the Stellenbosch-based company recently announced plans to seize property belonging to the WPRU if the union did not pay back a loan by July 6.

The WPRU failed to pay back the loan and instead registered a mortgage bond on one of its prime properties as security, with reports indicating that Newlands was used as security.

In an interview with Netwerk24, Wakefield insists they did not use Newlands as security, although he did not state which property was used.

“Newlands is worth several hundred million. It wouldn’t have been a good business decision to use it as bond mortgage for the loan,” said.

The WP boss added that while Remgro has not set a new deadline when payment of the loan is expected, it is in the best interest of the union that it be done in due course.

“As far as I know, no deadline has been given through by Remgro. But we can’t keep on delaying, it’s not a healthy situation for WP.”

Remgro came to the WPRU’s rescue when it was set to be liquidated at the end of 2016.

WP's business arm was placed in final liquidation by the Western Cape High court in 2016 after the union was slapped with an R276 million lawsuit by Aerios for reneging on an advertising rights contract with the company.

Aerios recently confirmed it would challenge WP’s liquidation in court while it planned to proceed with suing the union for breach of contract.