Rugby

WP Rugby bid to thwart subpoenas

2017-09-14 16:38
Paul Zacks (Gallo)

Cape Town - WP Rugby chief executive Paul Zacks has applied to the Cape High Court to set aside subpoenas issued as part of an ongoing Section 417 inquiry into matters related to their controversial liquidation last year.

Aggrieved commercial partner Aerios have a much-publicised damages claim of more than R270-million with Newlands over alleged advertising rights violations.

A Section 417 is a probe into the affairs of a bankrupt company; business wing WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd was controversially liquidated late last year and a new entity owned by the union - backed by then-stakeholders Remgro - effectively bought the liquidated company.

Subpoenas have been served on the directors of WP Rugby, and Aerios have said more may follow, depending on evidence which comes to light in the inquiry, presided over by retired judge Eberhard Bertelsmann and which began in late August.

But now Zacks and WP Rugby chief financial officer Colin Moses - both among recipients of the subpoenas - have applied to the High Court to review and set them aside, and the Section 417 has been postponed to mid-November.

Aerios CEO Costas Constantinou had said in media interviews ahead of the Section 417 - held in privacy - that he believed the inquiry would “uncover nefarious activities from quite a few parties involved in the liquidation”.

He has branded  it a “fraudulent plot” to free WP Rugby of contractual obligations to Aerios.

Documents required to be produced, in terms of the subpoenas, are known to include a substantial quantity of the books, papers and correspondence of WP Rugby.

But Zacks and Moses have submitted that a court order (in terms of Section 360 of the 1973 Companies Act) is needed for presentation of the documents.

Zacks has submitted in his court application that Constantinou has “aired his grievances widely” and that it is “clear ... (he) is aggrieved, angry, and that his approach to the matter is impatient and un-measured”.

Asked to comment over the WP Rugby court application, Constantinou told Sport24 in a statement: “I find it extremely disappointing that Zacks has resorted to a completely unnecessary court application; there is an obvious agenda.

“Even though this information has now been brought into the public domain I would rather refrain from making any (further) comment.

“The confidentiality of the Section 417 inquiry needs to be respected.”

Sport24 has approached WP Rugby for comment on their application.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    western province  |  paul zacks  |  rugby
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