SA Rugby accused of protecting EPRU boss
SA Rugby bosses have been accused of attempting to protect EPRU president Cheeky Watson after a general meeting scheduled for tomorrow was called off at the last minute.
A vote of no confidence in Watson and his executive had been on the agenda, but the meeting was postponed because SA Rugby executive member Francois Davids has flu.
The decision to postpone the meeting was met with anger by the East Cape representative of the Rugby Transformation Coalition, Qondakele Sompondo.
“I am extremely disappointed for the clubs of EP Rugby,” he said. “It is becoming quite clear to us that there is a trend to refuse to hold meetings.”
Monde Tabata, appointed as an administrator of EP Rugby by Saru after the cash crisis, said: “The meeting was called off because Francois Davids, who is the interim chairman of the meeting as part of the Saru administration, has flu. He has been ordered to take bed rest. We thought he could beat it and make it here but he can’t.”
“If you look at the letter of our appointment as administrators here, Davids is the chairman of all meetings of this union.
“If it was just an ordinary meeting I guess I could chair it myself. But it is a meeting that is holding a governance issue in terms of the vote of no confidence.
“I know there is a lot of suspicion, but I want this meeting like you cannot believe.
“But unfortunately Davids cannot be here.
“I am certain we are going to have to work on a new date fairly quickly,” Tabata said.
Sompondo said he had reported the postponement to Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC Pemmy Majodina and Mkhululi Magada, of the East Cape Sports Council, because he believed there had been a constitutional breach.
“It is a clear protection of the current executive by Saru because there is no way that Francois Davids’s sickness would be the reason why the meeting should not continue,” he said.
“Cheeky’s executive was going to be tested via a vote of no confidence at the meeting. This is the main reason why the meeting was called off .
“Cheeky is trying to stay in office. If he is trying to stay in office he must give us a reason why we must keep him after he liquidated the province.
“The easiest option out of here now is to call clubs to a meeting where we can discuss the future of the province without Saru and that EP executive.
“But that will be our last resort because we do not believe in creating parallel structures.”
The main grievances clubs have against the union are:
Presenting questionable financial statements; ý Lack of accountability; ý The current financial crisis at the EP Kings;
A Rugby SA takeover of the Southern Kings;
Messing up club rugby competition structures; and ý Sponsorship bungles. An issue which has angered clubs is EP Rugby’s decision to change the club rugby structure.
“We need a clean start. Cheeky and his cronies must take a walk,” Sompondo said.