NRU goes for the jugular

The dust is refusing to settle in local rugby circles, despite a mediation attempt by the sports ministry.

28 September 2018 | Sports

Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) council members say the Sports Act should be followed when determining who controls decision-making processes in the sport.

During a heated media conference yesterday, the council, represented by Keith Allies (Western Suburbs) and Christie Windvogel (Unam), said business wing, Namibia Rugby Limited (NRL), should adhere to the union's constitution as well as the Sports Act, and not involve itself in the mandate of the


The council members - representing the chairmen and presidents of clubs countrywide affiliated to the NRU - said on 7 April during an annual general meeting (AGM) the NRU put in place a new board to run its affairs.

“We, however, became aware that the previous board, though within their power to sign contracts, signed away the most important powers they were entrusted with - one of them being the appointment of a coach.

“The people who signed the agreement (former president Bradley Basson and former vice-president Petrie Theron) signed this cooperation agreement on behalf of the NRU on 16 February, which was backdated to 12 February,” Allies said.

“We would never have agreed to such an evil agreement, because this corporation agreement nullifies the whole purpose of the NRU as the governing body of rugby in Namibia.”

Basson was NRU president from 2012, until his successor Corrie Mensah was elected at the April AGM. Basson now acts as the chairman of the NRL board.

Allies said the cooperation agreement is in contravention of the union's constitution.

“Rugby should continue but not under the current conditions, and therefore we support the proposal for a new agreement with the company.”

He explained the NRL's mandate should be to look for sponsorships and manage the union's assets. The council disagrees with the view that the national team should be regarded as an asset managed by the company, since any national team belongs to the nation.

Ducks in a row

Allies also voiced stern warning to players who are campaigning in favour of the NRL.

“It is worrisome that while efforts are underway to resolve the stalemate, our players led by Rohan Kitshoff (a former national captain, who is currently injured) are supporting the company and disregarding their respective clubs, even though they are members of the NRU.

“It seems like Kitshoff with suspected third forces are behind threats to protest against matches. The players should know that we are aware of those has-beens who already played at the World Cup and who want to influence the inexperienced for their own agendas.

“Players who threaten not to partake in friendlies are bringing the game into disrepute and they will be disciplined according to the constitution,” Allies fumed.

Windvogel said that NRL's involvement in union matters is questionable.

“You don't see sponsors of football creating a separate business arm to administer the game or a team. They also need money and proper preparation for matches. Why only in rugby?

“Yes, it is a good idea but things don't work like that. You need to follow the Sports Act, as well as the NRU constitution. This is the highest authority and not even World Rugby can overrule it,” Windvogel added.


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