Saru in a R15m Roux legal conundrum
It could cost the SA Rugby Union (Saru) R15 million to dismiss Jurie Roux immediately for his alleged involvement in financial irregularities prior to his appointment as the country’s rugby boss in 2010.
Roux, Saru’s CEO, has for the past couple of months been at the centre of a storm over the alleged concealment of transfers of more than R32 million from University of Stellenbosch funds – apparently to fund the Maties Rugby Club.
He is now facing charges in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town to pay back the money.
City Press’ sister publication, Rapport, has ascertained that although there is “tremendous pressure” on Saru and, specifically, on its president, Oregan Hoskins, to suspend Roux, any action against Roux could have “far-reaching financial consequences” for Saru.
Netwerk24 earlier revealed that, according to court documents served on Roux last month, as director and chief director of financial planning and asset management at the University of Stellenbosch, he “conspired” with a colleague, Chris de Beer (then the deputy director of student fees) to make “unauthorised” transfers from the university’s reserve between 2002 and 2010.
Several sources told Rapport that Roux could pocket as much as R15 million if Saru suspends him before the court case is completed.
Roux apparently earns R3 million a year under the new contract. This package does not include bonuses.
Rapport’s sources say that, in the case of a suspension, Roux would have “a strong case in the labour court” – especially since Saru was aware of the University of Stellenbosch accusations against him when his contract was extended.
A further headache for Saru is apparently that the case is not related to Roux’s duties with the body.
Roux told Rapport through his lawyer, Frikkie Erasmus, that he was “anxious” to bring his case before the court, but believed the university was “delaying the process” by failing to provide documents he had asked for.