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Namibian rugby at the cross roads …World cup participation under threat

2018-09-28  Staff Reporter

Namibian rugby at the cross roads …World cup participation under threat
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WINDHOEK - Earlier in April this year, the Council of Namibian Rugby installed a new NRU Board to oversee rugby within the mandate of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Constitution.

However, the Council became aware that the previous NRU Board, albeit within their powers to sign contracts, signed away virtually the most important powers they were entrusted with during their six-year reign in office.
Amongst the worrisome discoveries were; the power to appoint coaches, adding to the next most important aspect of this saga.

Those who signed this agreement were; NRU previous President and his deputy both signed this co-operation agreement on behalf of the NRU on 12th February this year.

Interestingly, whilst signing, the pair also served as Directors of the same company they signed the Agreement with, and then backdated this signing to 16 February 2018.  

It has since transpired that signing away some of the most important powers to a company of which the previous NRU President is also the Chairman for the next five years, an exercise that  leaves a lot to be desired
“We as Council did certainly not and would never have agreed to such an evil arrangement. This so-called co-operation agreement thus nullifies the entire purpose of the NRU as the governing body of rugby in Namibia.This co-operation agreement is ultra virus, the NRU constitution as argued by the NRU Board and we strongly agree. We also strongly support the motion, which summarily terminated this agreement by the NRU Board.”

“Furthermore, we would like to echo the sentiments of the portfolio Minister, Hon. Erastus Uutoni, that rugby should continue but not under the current conditions and therefore support the proposal for a new arrangement with the company,” reads part of the statement verbatim.

The council expressed its view that it does not have a problem with the existence of the said company, but only with the mandate as provided within the NRU Constitution - rule 8.2.13 to incorporate or form a company, close corporation or body corporate or trust for purposes of raising funds and managing the union’s assets and as far as the union’s assets are concerned, the following comes into play:

As per the explanation by the president of the NRU, Corrie Mensah, the council fully agrees that the national team is not an asset of the NRU but in fact belongs to the Namibian nation. 
The NRU, through its board is only administering the national team activities on behalf of the Namibian nation. It says the efforts of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) is welcomed while its role in trying to resolve this impasse amicably is highly appreciated.

Its further stated that NRU is the only institution to run and administer rugby in Namibia,  registered as such and acknowledged by the NSC.

“It ‘s very worrisome that whilst all efforts are underway to resolve this stalemate, our players opted to support the company disregarding their respective clubs as affiliates of the NRU. 

In the meantime, threats are flying around all over the place as ill-informed players and supporters seem to start a campaign to badmouth individuals and NRU Board – hence the following should be brought to the players’ attention, As council members, we do know that the has-beens and those who were already at a World Cup, would like to influence the younger and more inexperienced players for their own personal agendas,

Players who are resorting to threats are busy bringing the game of rugby into disrepute, and can be disciplined as prescribed by the constitution, rule 8.2.14 to take any disciplinary action against any member, individual, employee or affiliate that contravenes the constitution, NRU Policy Manual, Rules and Regulations of the NRU or Statutes or Rules and Regulations of IRB or such other body of which the Union is a member.”

 “We now know that Ruhan Kitshoff seems to be the kingpin in this effort of getting players to undermine the efforts of the NRU but protesting against what? We also suspect that third forces are at play here.
As far as the council is concerned, FNB as sponsor has never got itself entangled in the administration of rugby in the past, at least not with the Premier League Clubs currently sponsored by them.”

The Council expressed its dissatisfaction with this whole fiasco to what it seems to amounts to systematic derailment of its World Cup campaign by third forces and should players wish to persist, it will officially give the NRU Board the mandate to officially withdraw Namibia’s participation from the 2019 World Cup at its next month’s 

2018-09-28  Staff Reporter

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