Slanging match forces Border Rugby Union to abandon meetin

Border rugby was thrown into turmoil yet again on Sunday when the annual meeting, after degenerating into a verbal slanging match, was abandoned.

It was another sad day in the annals of the Border Rugby Football Union (BRFU) which over the past decade has stumbled from one crisis to another.

Many genuine rugby administrators said afterwards they believed the power struggle within Border Rugby would never cease unless outside help was obtained.

It was clear from the start it was not going to be business as usual with delegate after delegate posing awkward questions from the floor.

After an hour and 48 stormy minutes had lapsed and only three items covered on the agenda – the last being credentials and voting powers -BRFU president Cliffie Pringle called off the meeting at precisely 11.48am.

Pringle said he was saddened at the turn of events, adding the BRFU would issue a media statement soon.

There was an uproar from delegates when BRFU deputy president B Ondala accused council members of wanting to derail the meeting because they had not made it onto the executive.

At one stage BRFU general manager Leon Botha, ordered United Rugby Club representative Brian Myburgh and East London Rugby Sub-Union delegate Bishop Mgweba, to leave the meeting or they would be forcibly removed.

This was met with a “by who” response from the floor.

Both Myburgh and Mgweba are under suspension although charges against Myburgh are still pending. Another bone of contention was that the audited 2008 financial reports were not available.

The Mooiplaas Rugby Sub-union stated the meeting could not continue without the 2008 audited financials while Buffaloes queried how an annual meeting could be conducted without an audited set of figures.

Pringle was at pains to explain that this was not possible as they were still in the hands of the auditors and the BRFU was at their mercy.

Earlier, the meeting began on a controversial note when East London Police representative Hansie Dewing queried why the BRFU had hired a Port Elizabeth-based legal adviser – who was present – and not an East London-based lawyer.

The reply was that “legal minds” based in East London were not up to the task.

Later, Dewing demanded the annual meeting be postponed and a special general meeting called for and held instead.

It was also queried why the Queenstown Rugby Sub-Union was represented as they had not participated in any rugby the past season and should be forced to apply for new membership.

Botha replied this had been an executive decision which was in accordance with the constitution.

The manner in which affiliates received notice calling the annual meeting was also queried. several times. These had been posted.

As the meeting progressed, it became increasingly clear no business would be attended to despite Pringle’s calls for calm.

“There is nothing wrong with people raising queries from the floor but it’s clear some delegates here have arrived with the aim of disrupting procedure.

“Why not allow this meeting to discuss the business of the day?” Pringle asked.

He added if the financials were such a problem, future annual meetings could be moved to a later date.

Pringle and his executive have been targeted for some time now by disgruntled affiliates who want them removed. and Sunday was just another step in that direction.


Sapa –

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