The R37m lawsuit by the University of Stellenbosch (Maties) against SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux, which has dragged on for seven years, is now set to go to independent arbitration after the two parties agreed to remove the battle from court.

Advocate Alisdair Sholto-Douglas SC will arbitrate, TimesLIVE reports.

'The case has not been thrown out,' Roux's lawyer Frikkie Erasmus said. 'Administratively, in terms of timing and time availability it is much easier to be in arbitration than in court. This doesn't make it a better or worse outcome because a competent arbitrator has been appointed and was agreed to by both parties,' he said.

The hearing will start on 25 November and has initially been allocated three weeks. Erasmus said arbitration could be open to the public, but both parties would have to agree to it. It is understood that the final outcomes will be made public.

The case, which was scheduled to start in the Western Cape High Court on 13 May, was postponed sine dine.

Maties is suing Roux and co-accused Christiaan de Beer for R37m for the alleged misappropriation of funds relating to the period the two effectively ran the Stellenbosch University Rugby Club.

Maties employed Roux between 1994-2012. Roux has always maintained his innocence.

In a 16-page affidavit filed at the Western Cape High Court in early May, Roux said, 'The university has not lost the R37m it is claiming from me.' 'It appears from the case presented by the university, as well as the university's own documentation and expert report that the money which the university is claiming from me was spent on legitimate university expenses incurred by and for the benefit of the university.'

Full TimesLIVE report