EP Rugby feud set to rumble on

The high court has ruled that George Malgas must be reinstated as the union’s acting president
BACK AT THE HELM: The high court has ruled that George Malgas must be reinstated as the union’s acting president

EP Rugby's long history of feuding among officials is set to rumble on despite a high court ruling this week that George Malgas be reinstated as the union's acting president.

The order triggered a new wave of unhappiness among rival officials who are reluctant to sit around a table and smoke the peace pipe.

These irreconcilable divisions run so deep that it seems only a neutral third force would have any chance of brokering a peace deal between the parties.

With no side prepared to back down, the current state of disunity could last until February 2025 when the union hold elections.

With so much bad blood in the air, a coalition between the groups to work for the betterment of EP Rugby is out of the question.

EP rugby is fiercely tribal with one group supporting Malgas, and the other nailing their flag to the mast of ousted president Gerald Antonie and his deputy Roger Serfontein.

It seems unlikely SA Rugby will step in to resolve the conflict because they appear to have taken a stance that the matter must be resolved within the union.

Earlier it appeared as though the mother body's loyalties lay with Antonie when the union held its delayed annual meeting in March.

Confusion and drama surrounded Antonie's short but eventful term as president.

His reign got off to a shaky start when clubs staged a mass walkout before an announcement by auditors that Antonie would be the new, unopposed, permanent president.

There were also signs of disharmony when members of EP’s executive left the top table to sit among the clubs when the hot-tempered annual meeting started.

There was a palpable sense of tension between members of the executive who were clearly divided into rival camps.

SA Rugby deputy president Francois Davids appeared to side with Antonie when he told the meeting that any officials who do not want to be in EP’s executive should stand aside.

With Malgas back in the hot seat, and his rivals Antonie and Serfontein sidelined, the union will be desperate for stability to be restored.

Though the court has spoken, this conflict looks set to rage on.



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