FILE - Western Province boss Zelt Marais
FILE - Western Province boss Zelt Marais

Western Province Professional Rugby force Zelt Marais to retract interview comments

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Feb 13, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – Western Province Professional Rugby, through the chairman of the board, have distanced themselves from the comments made by president Zelt Marais during an interview last week.

Marais formed part of a digital discussion with Rugby365.com contributor Angus Opperman, during which they discussed various matters pertaining to the state and current affairs of the WPRFU.

This came after Opperman had written an open letter to Marais stating his concerns as a supporter of WP and Stormers rugby, to which Marais responded and agreed to have a discussion with Opperman.

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In a statement released on Saturday, Western Povince Professional Rugby said they were unhappy with Marais’ comments.

“We do not believe that the comments in question were appropriate, nor do serve the interests of WPPR and rugby in the Western Province in any positive way,” WPPR said.

“In response, Mr Marais expressed remorse and agreed that he should not have said any of the things that he said during that recorded discussion with the journalist. He, therefore, withdrew those remarks in their entirety, without any condition, and apologised for any offence that might have been caused to the people mentioned. Mr Marais also agreed that he will no longer engage the media on the matters under discussion,” they continued.

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“In its own understanding of the negotiations of the transactions referred to, and the records thereof, the WPPR Board does not believe there has been any corruption or malfeasance by anybody mentioned, intentionally or not, especially as it relates to financial proposals made to the Clubs of WP.

“The Board also refutes any suggestion that Mr Andre van de Veen was not duly appointed or renewed as a member of the Board, or that he was not duly mandated, authorised or requested to engage in the search for an equity partner.

“Furthermore, we reiterate that while our impending move from Newlands to Cape Town Stadium may be a bit sad – because of a decades-long history we shall leave behind – it is also an exciting one – for all the growth and expansion possibilities that will come with being based at Cape Town Stadium. It is nevertheless not a move we make with any recriminations or under any duress.

“As the WPPR Board, we have all intentions to put measures in place that will minimise, if not entirely eliminate any possibility of a repeat of what recently happened,” they said.

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