Our zero this week is South African Rugby Union (Saru) boss Jurie Roux, who is under the spotlight for alleged manipulation of money during his tenure at Stellenbosch University (SU) as its director of financial planning.
According to Netwerk24, a KPMG investigation report – which the media company has made available online – fingers Roux in the unauthorised reallocation of university reserves for club funding, among other transactions and expenses. He was also the university rugby club’s chairperson and head coach at the time. KPMG was engaged by SU in November 2012.
The report confirmed that between 2002 and 2010, the SU rugby club received around R35-million in funding – this was not part of the official funding allocated by the university, but was “made available” by Roux, using a special piece of software to hide the transactions. The report noted that this mechanism was not supported by SU’s financial policies and principles. Roux also made unauthorised payments to the Western Province Rugby Institute, the report claims.
Furthermore, said the report, the R35-million that was reallocated was not disclosed to the university council. Roux was assisted in his manipulation of the system by a colleague, Chris de Beer, who was then the deputy director of student fees. The KPMG report also looked into allegations of self-enrichment by the pair.
The university council has specific guidelines on the use of its reserves, but Roux observed or followed none of these, the report claims.
SU is suing Roux for the millions which it believes he used to fund the rugby club. He took up the position of Saru CEO in 2010. The university fired De Beer in 2012.
Roux has not been suspended or even censured by Saru, nor have any of the big-name sponsors publicly expressed their concern – which falls in line with the infuriating tendency in South Africa to let wrongdoers go unpunished.
Update: Saru has confirmed, after seeking legal advice, that it supports Roux and will continue to do so until the case between him and SU is finalised.