Cape Town - An interrogation into the financial state of the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) started in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Monday.
According to the HeraldLIVE website, the aim is to establish whether the union’s directors traded in a reckless and negligent manner.
One of two major issues to be looked at is why the union continued to contract players at exorbitant salaries when it was already insolvent.
The second issue is to determine what happened to the EPRU’s television rights fees of R28m after 20 of its players signed 24-month contracts with SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux’s company, SA Rugby Travel.
Roux and his SA Rugby colleagues Oregan Hoskins (former president), Mark Alexander (acting president) and Basil Haddad (chief financial officer) as well as SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos and EP president Cheeky Watson are all expected to be called to testify.
The EPRU was liquidated earlier this year, with SA Rugby forced to step in and take charge of rugby matters.
SA Rugby funded the Southern Kings franchise in Super Rugby as well as the EP Kings during the Currie Cup Premier Division, after the team was forced to play as amateurs in the Currie Cup Qualifiers.
Meanwhile according to a recent report, SA Rugby will continue to fork out large amounts to pay the Southern Kings Super Rugby players’ salaries.
According to Netwerk24, there is an agreement to pay a player, considered as inexperienced for Super Rugby level, R35 000 per month over a period of nine months.
This is believed to be the lowest amount a contracted Kings Super Rugby player could earn.
According to the website, 10 players have already signed contracts for 2017, which means a minimum of R3.15m for only those expenses.
A Super Rugby group normally consists of between 32-35 players.
It is also believed that the total expenses for the 38-man Currie Cup squad cost SA Rugby R2 467 500.