Super Rugby

Former EP Player drops fraud bombshell on SA Rugby



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Former Eastern Province Rugby player Ronnie Cooke has signed an affidavit for the courts alleging that the South African Rugby Union (Saru) have acted fraudulently in their administration of the Union.

Cooke is one of a group of 36 players who have applied for the EP Rugby Union to be liquidated after the Union was taken over late last year by SARU. The players have not been paid since last year.

The backliner who has been with EP since 2013, states that Saru are trying to get a fraudulent business rescue plan through the courts which would avoid the liquidation process.

However Cooke says that SARU are deliberately trying to mislead the courts by, “presenting fraudulent documentation from Integrated Sports, an entity that neither trades, nor has a bank account, which letterhead is falsely signed by an insolvent Chris Wishlade, who is neither a Director nor a shareholder of the company, with no mandate to act for and on its behalf, nor the shelf company RU Asset Management.”

SARU say that Integrated Sports have offered R100 million over five years as part of a business rescue plan.

Cooke states in the afidavit that Saru, “….will have the court believe this is a bona fide offer, when in reality this is an application that has been designed in collaboration with SARU, to deceive the court and defraud the rightful creditors and professional rugby players of EPRU.”

Investigations into Integrated Sports have revealed that their company address is a shared office Regus style club in London.

Further to this Cooke alleges that SARU deliberately withheld Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium managers Access Management, who owed R24.747m, from the list of EPRU creditors to make the Union look worse off than it actually is.

In court papers Saru have listed 74 creditors who were owed a total of R58.379m by the EPRU, of which R16.162m and R14.700m was owed to Saru and the South African Revenue Service, respectively.

Strangely though Access Management was not listed.

In addition Cooke alleges that on the 9 December 2015 SARU CEO Jurie Wynand Roux, hijacked the EPRU TV rights fees of R28m which is money that could have been used to pay the players.

Cooke also states that SARU strong-armed into signing Super Rugby contacts with SA Rugby Travel, of which Saru CEO Jurie Roux is the director and sole shareholder.

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