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Alexander elected new SARU President


New SA Rugby president maps out priorities


Mr Mark Alexander mapped out a range of immediate priorities for rugby following his confirmation as the new President of SA Rugby at a Special General Council meeting in Johannesburg on Thursday.


Mr Alexander was elected unopposed, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Mr Oregan Hoskins in August. Mr Alexander, who has served as Deputy President since 2007, will serve as president until the next elections in 2018.


Mr Francois Davids – a serving member of the Executive Council – was elected to succeed Mr Alexander as deputy president of SA Rugby while Mr Vivian Lottering (president of the Valke Rugby Union) was elected to the Exco in Mr Davids’ place.


Mr Alexander immediately highlighted a number of priorities for SA Rugby in the short and medium term. He said the organisation faced a number of challenges but he was confident that they could be addressed by a 100-day plan on which he had been working with the Executive Council.


He said the immediate priorities were assisting the national team; addressing the structure and sustainability of member unions; redesigning SA Rugby’s competition structure; transformation and securing the 2023 Rugby World Cup for South Africa.


“Last week’s coaching indaba started the process of supporting the Springbok management and squad to perform to the standards that we all expect,” said Mr Alexander.


“It was not an overnight ‘fix’ but was the start of a process that will pay off over time. The support and commitment of the franchise coaches and CEOs was exceptional and documents and plan have already been shared while a follow-up meeting will take place immediately following the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.


“We have already taken short-term steps with additions to the coaching team and a conditioning indaba is also being arranged for December.”


Mr Alexander said it was as important to revisit the structure of SA Rugby with a mooted move towards a franchise (Vodacom Super Rugby) and non-franchise structure, changes that had already been foreshadowed in amendments to the constitution that were likely to come before the General Council in December.


“We are proposing to overhaul our committee structure with the establishment of two new committees; one to focus on licensed, franchise rugby – with greater equity representation – and the second to concentrate on non-franchise rugby to look after the interests of the 14 member unions,” he said.


“Financial sustainability is a major focus for our membership and SA Rugby right now.”


He said that competition structures were also being revisited and that an independent group of high-profile individuals from South African civic society – to offer expert but neutral advice – was also being considered to act as a sounding board for the major strategic opportunities presented to rugby.


Mr Alexander also said that he was confident that SA Rugby would meet the transformation targets for 2016 – agreed with the Department of Sport and Recreation – to allow it to confirm a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in South Africa.


“Transformation for us is not a ‘tick-box’ exercise; it is a business imperative for rugby to stay vibrant and relevant as a sport in an evolving South Africa.


“I’m pleased to say that we have made good progress in 2016 although we know more work needs to be done. That said I am confident of a favourable report from the Eminent Persons’ Group to allow us to bid for an event that could have a tremendous, transformative impact on the lives of all South Africans.


“Our economic impact study of what a Rugby World Cup would mean to South Africa underlines the national importance of rugby delivering such a tournament to the country,” said Mr Alexander.


“We forecast that it would create 38 600 temporary or permanent jobs; have a direct, indirect and induced economic impact of R27.3 billion; contribute R5.7 billion to low income households; bring almost 200 000 foreign tourists to South Africa and produce R1.4 billion in estimated tax revenues for government.


“Rugby has its challenges but there are great opportunities for the sport and for what it can do for South Africa.”


Issued by SA Rugby Communications


  1. “Mr Francois Davids – a serving member of the Executive Council – was elected to succeed Mr Alexander as deputy president of SA Rugby ”

    I guess that means more of Wakefield at WP. In other news, an unknown supplier of buffets was seen shouting with joy as the news broke.

  2. Alexander was part of Sascoc and all the gravy training that went on there, also rumours abound of other irregularities. So I imagine we are in for some interesting times, I do not for one second expect this guy to turn SARU around.

  3. @Aldo:

    I’m sure both Alexander and Davids can put away a small countries GDP in ‘all you can eats’…

  4. From: http://www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2016/02/25/graeme-joffe-the-sporting-money-trail-jurie-rouxs-saru-a-mini-fifa/

    Dear Adriaan

    I refer to your column in the City Press at the weekend headlined: “Why does nobody care about Jurie Rouxgate?”

    You lament the fact there is no national outcry about the serious allegations that SARU CEO, Jurie Roux “siphoned off R35 million” from Stellenbosch University to fund the Maties rugby club.

    Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 10.54.28
    SARU CEO Jurie Roux. Photo courtesy of Twitter (@rugby365com)
    Welcome to my world Adriaan.

    I’ve been exposing the corruption, cronyism and maladministration in SA sport for the last four years and there has been no national outcry, due in large to a very conflicted and silent SA sports media. The corruption is rife from the Sports Ministry to SASCOC to the National Lottery Distribution agencies to a number of sporting federations including SA Rugby (SARU).

    Ironically, it was me who broke the story which you refer to as “Jurie Rouxgate” back in 2013 and Í wrote a column stating: “The University of Stellenbosch is currently investigating a trail of major financial irregularities, which one insider said, could bring SA Rugby to its knees”.

    Perhaps, the chickens are now coming home to roost.

    There was no whistle-blower.

    I was digging on the internet into SARU agents after rugby journalist, Mark Keohane had acted as an unaccredited agent for EP Kings captain, Luke Watson and came across the story about Chris de Beer and his dismissal from the university. I chased the story for weeks and never let it go.

    A third party then told me I was on the right track.

    I’m not looking for a pat on the back (that’s reserved for SASCOC officials when they predict 10 Olympic medals and we get six) but give credit where credit is due.

    We hear it a lot about the vibrant media in SA making officials accountable and herein lies the problem for sport.

    Have you ever asked why your Naspers partners, SuperSport or Carte Blanche (M-Net) haven’t been running the “Jurie Rouxgate” story or other sports corruption scandals?

    I would be very interested to hear the answers.

    I hope your persistence with this story and good investigative work is not a Naspers “smoke screen” for what is really happening behind closed doors. Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula gets more airtime on SuperSport than most athletes and a former Ministry spokesperson, Graham Abrahams (SuperSport Director of Enterprises & Regulatory) nurtures that relationship.

    Speaking of Mbalula, he has been very quiet on the rugby scandal and threw a hospital pass to his deputy, Gert Oosthuizen who was quoted as saying:

    “A presentation will be made to us (by SARU) after the completion of their own investigation and we will step in if needed. But for now we have to respect SARU’s independence.”

    What a load of …………

    Former Cricket SA CEO, Gerald Majola will look like a saint once all the rugby dirt comes out but yet Majola had to face a commission of inquiry ordered by the Sports Minister.

    Why is there no urgent COI for Roux and company?

    The answer may lie in the serious allegation that corrupt stakeholders in SA Rugby are making money with funds that come from government to advance transformation.

    Another big red flag is the payment of R90 million per annum to “My Players” for something called ‘Collective Image Rights of the players’? The rights are supposedly controlled by SARPA, a trade union, but the R90m pa for five years is paid to a Pty Ltd. Apparently the players are the shareholders but should any player ask for the financials, their curiosity is ‘controlled’.

    Former Absa Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer, Louis von Zeuner was brought in by SARU to head up My Players a couple years ago and is often seen close to Mbalula at rugby test matches.

    Von Zeuner is a Cricket SA board member as well and has become very powerful.

    Then there’s the SARU deputy president and SASCOC board member, Mark Alexander who I’ve exposed for receiving kickbacks for a SARU commercial contract renewal, which was flagged in the Primedia Sport financials.

    Perhaps, that’s why there has been no outcry from 702/EWN Sport (Primedia).

    After a week, I’m still waiting for a response from EWN news editor, Katy Katapodis to my email asking:

    “As a trusted media organisation, how much longer is Primedia going to withhold the kickbacks information from the public?”

    Alexander is close to Mbalula through his SASCOC and Lottery links and was Chairman of the Durban 2022 Commonwealth Bid on SARU time and is now angling for the SARU presidency.

    Meanwhile, current SARU president, Oregan Hoskins did his SuperSport sponsored MBA for two years on SARU time.

    Conflict city.

    So, Roux has been left to run a “mini FIFA” withclp but without anyone looking over his shoulder.

    Lastly Adriaan, Rapport have broken stories about gross financial and tender irregularities with the SA sports awards. Why did you guys back off especially after one of your journalists were threatened?

    That should have told you something. You were on the right track.

    The Sports Ministry (with their dirty conduits eg. Sports Trust), SASCOC and the Lottery Distribution agencies are the key to closing the door on SA sports corruption.

    That’s the money trail that needs to be followed but will the conflicted mainstream media do it?



    By Graeme Joffe

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