CAPE TOWN - Suspended Western Province Rugby Football Union executive member Junaid Moerat won the first round of his High Court battle against the WPRFU on Thursday.
Honourable Justice Le Grange in the High Court on Thursday ordered that WPRFU not take any further steps with the hearings or prosecuting the disciplinary proceedings instituted against Moerat on 17 February 2021.
Moerat was suspended on the day of his appointment as interim CEO of Western Province Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd. following his alleged involvement in leaking information to the media regarding the potential Stade Francais deal. The position was subsequently handed to Ruben Machelm, Marais’ former personal assistant.
Despite a number of letters being sent to WPRFU by Moerat’s legal team questioning the unlawfulness of the process, WPRFU failed to respond.
The union, represented by Randal Titus, insisted that the hearing go ahead. In the court application submitted by Shaheid Schreuder from Schreuder Inc., representing Moerat, they sought an urgent interdict preventing WPRFU from proceeding with the disciplinary process and hearings.
The interdict was granted. This will now be followed by the motion for the disciplinary proceedings instituted against Moerat by WPRFU on 17 February to be declared unlawful and be set aside, with costs, which will be heard in the High Court at a later stage.
With the case an ongoing one which can continue for months and cost the WPRFU hundreds of thousands of rands, in addition to the well-documented costs of other legal battles that Marais faces, the financial aspect should be a major concern given the union’s well-documented existing monetary woes, so too Marais’ decision to accrue such costs despite the union’s pre-existing financial state and defy instructions by the executive committee to withdraw the charges against Moerat.
The actions taken against Moerat by Marais were done despite minutes of meetings of the executive committee showing that the union had not sanctioned it, which leaves the impression that Zelt Marais is acting alone and without mandate.