Cape Town - The lawyer of embattled South African rugby boss
Jurie Roux has for the past two years been selling sports supplements to the
South African Rugby Union (SARU) worth hundreds of thousands of rands without
paying SARU the standard license fee for using the valuable SA Rugby logo on
SARU's decision to source energy gels, protein shakes and
supplements from Frikkie Erasmus, Roux's lawyer - who also represents SARA itself
as well as the union's head of rugby Rassie Erasmus in legal matters -
apparently caused great discomfort and unhappiness among SARU employees when
the deal was struck in 2013 due to concerns over a possible conflict of
Frikkie Erasmus is the sole director of EE Sportconsult
Nutrition, from which SARU buys nutrition products in the BokPulse range.
The supplements are used by four SARU high performance rugby
teams, including the senior Springbok side and the Springbok Sevens team.
Frikkie Erasmus and Rassie Erasmus are also fellow directors
of the similarly named company EE Sportconsult, but Frikkie denied that this
company was in any way involved in the supplements deal.
The BokPulse range - which is also stocked in Dis-chem stores
across the country - are "officially licensed" SA Rugby products and
bear the Springbok logo, but Rapport has established that Frikkie Erasmus's
company has to date not paid a cent in licensing fees for the use of the logo.
Licensees of SA Rugby normally pay SARU considerable fees to
use the SA Rugby logo on their products. The union raked in some R13 million in
the last financial year from its 80 licensees.
SARU's own code of conduct states SARU officials and
employees "may not use their position or privileges within SARU for
private gain or to benefit another person improperly."
SARU's conflict of interest also states that individuals
related to SARU may "not solicit or obtain for themselves or relatives,
friends or any other person, a material benefit of any kind from his
association with SARU."
Both Frikkie Erasmus and SARU denied the BokPulse deal
transgressed these rules.
Both said the SARU executive council was well aware of
Erasmus' role as the union's, Roux's and Rassie Erasmus's lawyer when SARU decided
to start purchasing the BokPulse products.