Embattled Western Province Rugby Football Union elect new president
Zelt Marais was named as new president of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) at the 27th annual general council gathering on Monday night.
Marais replaces Thelo Wakefield who served two terms between 2012-2018 while there are also new deputy and vice-presidents.
"It is a great honour for me to be voted into this prestigious position and I will give my all to fulfill my mandate from the clubs and lead the WPRFU into the future‚" Marais said.
Marais ran on a ticket that included cutting salaries at the cash-strapped union by up to 25% for employees earning over R20000 a month.
That proposal will still have to be tabled when the Board meets on December 7.
WPRFU owes equity partner Remgro over R40m and is in an ongoing dispute with former commercial rights partner Aerios‚ which claims to be owed over R250m by WP Rugby.
These are just some of the issues facing the new president‚ although after 12 years as vice and deputy president‚ as well as head of the finance committee‚ Marais could also be viewed as part of the problem and not a solution.
Moneeb Levy was voted in as deputy president and Spencer King was elected vice-president unopposed after an attempted High Court interdict from vice-presidential candidate Ronald Bantom failed earlier in the day.
Bantom had been suspended by the WPRFU for disciplinary reasons‚ which made him ineligible for election. He tried to have the union’s disciplinary measures overturned in a court‚ but failed.
Marais won the vote over another popular WP rugby figure Peter Jooste. Jooste was also a Springbok selector for over decade.
Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks thanked Wakefield for his service and welcomed Marais as the new President.
"I would like to thank Thelo Wakefield for his years of service to Western Province Rugby and look forward to forming a close partnership going forward with Zelt Marais as the new President‚" he said.
The WPRFU Executive Committee
President: Zelt Marais
Deputy president: Moneeb Levy
Vice president: Spencer King (unopposed)
Quintin van Rooyen