SARU have referred to legal advisers following revelations that current CEO Jurie Roux has been ordered to return £1.8m worth of funds to his former employer, Stellenbosch University.

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South African media reported that Roux was ordered earlier this week to repay ZAR37-million – which an arbitrator found he had “without authorisation” moved from the Stellenbosch University, between 2002 and 2010. Roux is appealing the decision.

In a release, SA Rugby states that: “The Executive Council of SA Rugby has noted the reports of the arbitration involving Jurie Roux and his former employer, Stellenbosch University.

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“We have referred the matter to our legal advisers for their advice on governance matters, as we have throughout this process.

“We further note that the process allows for the parties to lodge an appeal, and we will make no further comment until the outcome of any such appeal is known.”

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 claimed that Roux had used the finance system to channel millions unbudgeted expenditure into the rugby club.

Roux held senior positions in the university’s finance department and had been accused of using the electronic accounting system to channel the disputed funds. 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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Auditors also made adverse findings against a former colleague of Roux, Chris de Beer, who also held senior positions in the university’s finance department and at the rugby club.

After a legal skirmish between the two parties, Roux and the university agreed to have their dispute arbitrated by advocate Alasdair Sholto-Douglas SC in a series of closed-door sittings which began towards the end of 2019.

Sholto-Douglas’ ruling, which was delivered on Wednesday, December 23, found that Roux had breached the terms of his contract with the Stellenbosch University by not acting in their best interests by allocating the university’s funds to four cost centres without authorisation or budgeting.

This constituted a breach of his employment contract and resulted in the university suffering damages in the amount of ZAR35,312,004.

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