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Jurie Roux steps down as SA Rugby CEO following financial scandal

By Ian Cameron
Chief Executive of the SARU Jurie Roux attends a media briefing at Southern Sun Newlands on August 16, 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa. The briefing is held to announce the inclusion of the Southern Kings and the exclusion of the MTN Lions within the Vodacom Super Rugby competition. (Photo by Grant Pitcher / Gallo Images)

SA Rugby have confirmed that Jurie Roux has stepped down from his position as CEO of SA Rugby in “the best interests of the game.”

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SA Rugby President Mark Alexander confirmed the decision for the union to part ways with Roux, who was the subject of litigation in recent years.

Alexander stated that Roux’s decision to resign was a selfless one and made in the best interests of South African rugby. Roux has been at the helm of SA Rugby for over a decade and has been instrumental in the growth and success of the sport in the country. However, he has faced controversy, with allegations of misconduct and financial mismanagement.

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Alexander praised Roux’s contribution to the sport and said that he will be missed by all involved in South African rugby.

“Jurie has finished, he agreed to step down at the end of December. It’s a sad thing, and he stepped down due to things beyond his and our control,” Alexander told IOL Sport. “He stepped down in the best interests of the game and the organisation.”

In 2013, when Roux was at the head of the Stellenbosch Rugby Club (Maties) – one of the most famous in world rugby – the audit firm KPMG submitted a preliminary report to the university which found that Roux had manipulated the finance system to channel millions of unbudgeted expenditure into the rugby club.

He held the position of senior director in the university’s finance department when he was appointed CEO of SARU in 2013.

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In December 2020, Roux was ordered to repay more than ZAR37-million (£1.7 million) which an arbitrator found he had misappropriated from Stellenbosch University between 2002 and 2010. In 2021 he lost his appeal against that ruling and faces the bleak prospect of paying back his former employer the huge sum of money.

There have been reports that Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee and Bulls counterpart Edgar Rathbone are being considered for the position of SA Rugby CEO, with some sources indicating that Rathbone may be the preferred candidate.

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