SA Rugby boss Jurie Roux comes out swinging at Maties

10 May 2019 - 15:13 By Craig Ray‚ Cape Town
South African Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux.
South African Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux.
Image: GALLO IMAGES

SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux has fired several salvos at the University of Stellenbosch just days before a trial involving the two parties was due to be heard in the Western Cape High Court.

The case‚ which was scheduled to start on Monday‚ has been postponed ‘sine dine’ – the legal term for with no fixed date. A new date will be decided later.

The university is suing Roux and co-accused Christiaan de Beer for R37-million for the alleged misappropriation of funds relating to the period the two effectively ran the Stellenbosch University Rugby Club.

Roux was employed by Maties between 1994 and 2012. Roux has always maintained his innocence.

In a 16-page affidavit filed at the Western Cape High Court earlier this week‚ of which TimesLIVE has a copy‚ Roux challenges several claims made by the university in its case documentation.

“The university has not lost the R37 million it is claiming from me‚” Roux stated in his affidavit.

“It appears from the case presented by the university‚ as well as the university’s own documentation and expert report‚ that the money which the university is claiming from me was spent on legitimate university expenses‚ incurred by and for the benefit of the university.

“The university accordingly does not claim the following: that the money in issue was not spent on behalf of the university‚ that it would otherwise not have spent that money (and would instead have saved it or invested it)‚ or that it did not obtain the goods and services paid for.

“Presumably for that reason‚ the university has not‚ as far as I am aware‚ instituted proceedings to claim any of that money from any service providers or students.

“Secondly‚ to the knowledge of the university‚ I never took any money from the university (apart from my salary and benefits)‚ let alone R37 million. The university's expert report confirms that I did not personally benefit from my alleged conduct relied upon for the claim.”

Roux states in the affidavit that when he was in charge of the rugby club’s finances between 2002 and 2010 the regulations were different to what they are currently. Maties’ charges are based on current regulations and they expect him to provide details of the older regulations.

“The university claims that I breached my employment contract‚” Roux states.

“In particular‚ it is said that in terms of my employment contract I was bound by the laws‚ statutes and regulations of the university‚ as well as its policies and principles‚ and it is then claimed that I failed to so comply.

“However‚ the university has been unable to produce the statutes‚ regulations‚ policies and principles that applied during my employment. Accordingly I do not know on what basis the university has made the very serious allegations against me.

“Instead of producing the documents or evidence of the system on which it relies‚ the university has attempted to obtain that information from me.

“Firstly in the form of a 10-page request for trial particulars‚ and then reproduced in substantially the same form as a 13-page request for admissions.

“I assume that it is unusual for a plaintiff to attempt to build its case against a defendant by demanding particulars and admissions from the defendant‚ instead of itself putting up all the information required for its case.

“I further assume that a defendant is entitled to demand that a plaintiff instead proves its case. This approach is particularly unfortunate when employed by a plaintiff which is as wealthy and powerful an institution as the university‚ against two private individuals.”

Roux’s affidavit also challenges evidence (not in TimesLive’s possession) given in other affidavits.

Attempts to reach Stellenbosch University’s lawyers were unsuccessful at the time of publishing.

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