Cape Town — Western Province Rugby Football Union executive committee and board member Junaid Moerat has withdrawn his High Court application against WP Rugby.
Moerat was suspended on the day his appointment as interim CEO of Western Province Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd. was to be announced. This came after his alleged involvement in leaking information to the media. The position was subsequently handed to Ruben Machelm, former WPRFU president Zelt Marais’ former personal assistant.
In June, Moerat won the first round of their legal battle in the High Court as he was granted an interdict against Marais and the WPRFU taking any further disciplinary action against him.
Last month, SA Rugby assumed administrative control of the union, with former SA Rugby CEO Rian Oberholzer appointed as administrator to oversee the union’s affairs.
In a statement, Moerat explained his reasons for ending his legal battle with WP.
“Following the decision by SA Rugby to place WP Rugby under administration, I have decided that it is in the best interest of rugby, to withdraw my court application against WP Rugby,” he said.
“In June 2021 I was successful in having an interdict granted to prevent WPRFU and Zelt Marais from taking any further steps or prosecuting the disciplinary proceedings instituted against me on 17 February 2021, being the very same day I was appointed as interim CEO of Western Province Professional Rugby.
“My decision to approach the courts was done on principle, to protect the integrity of WPRFU and to prevent processes from being abused that was placing the organisation at risk. Unfortunately these actions continued, which led to the incapacitation of the Executive Committee of the union and the board of WP Professional Rugby, followed by combined resignations of independent board members. This ultimately led to the decision by SA Rugby to place WPRFU under administration.
“My court application focused primarily on the process adopted by the WPRFU in instituting the disciplinary proceedings and of my suspension and not the merits of the unfounded and vexatious allegations and charges brought against me. I continue to maintain that the charges were malicious and adopted specifically with the aim of preventing me from taking up the position as interim CEO of the company.”
Moerat added that the allegations and his suspension brought by Marais over the last few months have negatively impacted both in his personal and professional life.
“Naturally the allegations, and my suspension, has impacted negatively on my reputation and both my personal and professional life. I am positive that those in charge of WPRFU will recognise the fact that I have pursued the matter on principle for the greater good of WPRFU and the onus now lies on SA Rugby and the administrator of the WPRFU to ensure that something like this can and will never happen again. My focus moving forward is to prove my innocence and clear my name.”