SA Chuffed As SA Rugby Boss Ordered to Pay Stolen R37M After Losing Appeal

SA Chuffed As SA Rugby Boss Ordered to Pay Stolen R37M After Losing Appeal

  • SA Rugby boss Jurie Roux has lost an appeal against the millions stolen from Stellenbosch University
  • A tribunal panel found that R37 million went missing at the university under Roux's watch between 2002 and 2010
  • Roux is said to have manipulated the university’s electronic accounting systems to illegally channel the funds
  • Social media has since erupted into a frenzy as many called for Roux to be imprisoned for his actions

The wheels have justice have turned on SA Rugby Union (SARU) chief executive Jurie Roux, who has been ordered to repay R37 million that was misappropriated from the Stellenbosch University coffers to the Maties Rugby Club.

The Arbitration Appeal Tribunal panel found that the funds "went missing" during Roux's tenure at the institution's finance department, and he has since lost an appeal in the matter, News24 reported.

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Jurie Roux has not escaped punishment for his crimes. Image: Grant Pitcher/ Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images
"His strategy was in various instances glaringly evasive, consisting, as it did, of reams of bald denials in his ultimately amended plea. His evidence was no different," said the tribunal.

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Briefly News understands the panel comprised of retired Supreme Court of Appeal deputy president Judge Louis Harms and senior councils Chris Eloff and Mike van der Nest.

Abused power for almost a decade

Through a non-judicial process, the panellists determined that Roux manipulated the university’s electronic accounting systems to illegally channel millions into the coffers of the rugby club, according to IOL.

The funds were reportedly unbudgeted expenditure which Roux subsequently manipulated while in senior positions at the institution's finance department before holding key roles at the rugby club between 2002 and 2010.

KPMG, one of the "Big Four" accounting firms, submitted a preliminary report, which delved into Roux's splurge, to the university in 2013, the same year he took over the reins at SARU. However, he was not the only one to be implicated in the malicious practice.

Roux did not act alone

Adverse findings were made against Chris de Beer, Roux's friend and former colleague, who much in the same way as the former, shuffled through leadership roles in the finance department of the university and the rugby club.

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After a protracted legal battle, the appeal tribunal this week dismissed appeals by Roux and De Beer against the favourable award made to the university in December last year by advocate Alasdair Sholto-Douglas, who chaired the arbitration process in a succession of closed-door sittings which began at the end of 2019.

In the determination, and in addition to the university's legal costs, Roux is required to pay an amount of R37 116 402 including interest from the date of the summons, while De Beer has been ordered to pay R1 904 511 for his part in the corrupt dealings.

Commenting on the outcome, Stellenbosch University's chief executive professor Stan du Plessis was full of praise for how the process has been concluded.

"The university is satisfied that this matter has been successfully concluded, with awards in its favour on all its claims, which arose from the institution's commitment to good corporate governance," said du Plessis.

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South Africans call for more action

Locals and rugby fans berated Roux for his actions but were also critical of the media's airing of the matter, believing the reporting to not be objective. Many questioned why reports deviated from referring to Roux as corrupt, while others called for him to be jailed.

Below, Briefly News takes a look at all the colourful reactions from netizens.

@Shahima August wrote:

"He must pay... And [get] jail time."

@Mxolisi James Majola said:

"One word Pay Back the Money. No excuse."

@Andrew Kgasago added:

"He deserves cabinet post this one."

@Nkosi Ngwenya observed:

"Funny how the word "corruption" isn't featured. I wonder why. They must be consistent and also say ANC made accounting irregularities then."

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Helping their cause were the preceding wins against Wales and Scotland, whom the world rugby champions 23-18 and 30-15, respectively. Interestingly, for the first time in 19 years, the big three teams from the Southern Hemisphere – South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia – all lost on the same day, SABC News reported.

Source: Sports Brief News