SARU to ‘visit’ bankrupt Border

January 19, 2014
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The South African Rugby Union will send a delegation to East London next week, after it emerged the Border Rugby Football Union is bankrupt.

This website can reveal that SARU Chief Executive Officer Jurie Roux and the Chief Financial Officer Basil Haddad will be making the trip to East London.

An ongoing financial stand-off between the BRFU and its professional arm, Border Rugby (Pty) Ltd – which included numerous court interdicts and counter-interdicts since June last year – has resulted in staff at the amateur arm working without pay for the past three months.

“The situation in Border has reached the point where they clearly need help,” the SARU CEO, Roux, told this website in an interview.

“We can’t intervene in terms of the legal proceedings,” Roux said, adding: “But we are visiting the union on Tuesday [January 21].

“It’s too early to say more than that.”

Mzuvukile Tempi, speaking on behalf of the BRFU workers, told The Daily Dispatch that they have filed a case in the labour court.

BRFU’s acting General Manager, Dumisani Mhani, confirmed to the newspaper that the case has been referred to the department of labour.

“Once there is cash in the union’s coffers, workers will be paid all that is due to them,” Mhani told the Dispatch.

“Immediately we get paid, we will transfer money to the workers.”

Mhani added that the union will provide a copy of their financial statements to show they don’t have money to pay salaries to anyone.

“[In court] I will show them evidence that we have been trying to ensure these problems get sorted,” Mhani told the newspaper.

Border Rugby (Pty) Ltd owns and manages the professional Bulldogs franchise, and the BRFU is responsible for amateur rugby activities.

The union went to court last year hoping to secure full control of the union’s finances, against a 13-year arrangement which saw Border Rugby (Pty) Ltd handling finances for both entities.

BRFU lost the case.

The Daily Dispatch reported last month that on December 5, Judge Duncan Dukada ruled in favour of Border Rugby (Pty) Ltd, saying it was entitled to SARU grant transfers.

This was after the company charged that the union had misappropriated money intended for it from SARU, which would have gone to pay players’ and staff salaries and other expenses.

By Jan de Koning

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