WP president: Union has been devastated by an unknown person within its own structures

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Zelt Marais (Getty)
Zelt Marais (Getty)

Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) president Zelt Marais has written to the WP clubs insisting the union was in good hands.

This follows reported plans to remove him from his position.

In a letter addressed to the union's shareholders and clubs, Marais suggested that claims that the union was a directionless organisation were unfair.

The letter, published by Rapport newspaper, also contained claims from Marais that leaks from within the union's ranks were to blame for the damage to the WP brand.

Earlier this month, Marais was reprimanded by the union's top brass over comments he made in the media.

In a wide-ranging interview with rugby specialist website Rugby365, Marais made allegations of "fake news" reporting, discussed the union's failed Investec-Remgro deal, the ongoing saga with developers Flyt, the move from Newlands to Cape Town Stadium and the failed negotiations with MVM Holdings.

In the letter published by Rapport on Sunday, Marais wrote: "The union has been devastated by an unknown person or persons, unfortunately from within its structures, which leaked confidential information to unauthorised third parties.

"Given the fallout due to these leaks, it seems there is a careful strategy behind it, to undermine the union's commercial and sports efforts in general, and my presidency - especially the mandate you (the clubs) have given me.

"We are making steady progress in this regard. We hope to eradicate this plague soon. The union deliberately did not return the spate of balls kicked at us by the media. It is of little use to get involved in a war of words with anonymous people."

Meanwhile, the report in the Afrikaans newspaper added that around 12 clubs - under the leadership of Tygerberg Rugby Club - have written to SA Rugby, requesting that they step in and take charge of the WPRU, as they have "lost all confidence" in the current management.

According to the report, the clubs that signed the letter feel that the entire executive committee should be shown the door along with Marais. The letter was reportedly written amid plans to remove Marais from his position with a vote of no confidence and install Ronald Bantom, Marais’ former confidant, as his replacement.

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