The Western Cape High Court has castigated former SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux for his ‘refusal to take responsibility’, dismissing his application for leave to appeal against its order that he repay R37m in damages to the University of Stellenbosch for his unlawful spending.

Business Day report says Judge Vincent Saldanha found on Friday that Roux sought to use the leave to appeal process to re-argue legal issues already dealt with in arbitration proceedings and affirmed in the review judgment.

Saldanha said that Roux was not the disadvantaged underdog in his employment relationship with the university.

‘If anything, the conduct of Mr Roux, besides not only having been found by the arbitrators to be dishonest and in bad faith, is compounded by his impunity, that demonstrates a desperate refusal to accept accountability for his unlawful conduct,’ Saldanha said in his judgment.

‘Regrettably, in my view, his resort to trawling the selective choice of Canadian law and the attempt to conflate principles of tort with that of the SA law of contract (mindful though, of its instructive virtue) and by the attempt to introduce policy considerations in the face of the actual facts of this matter, alludes... to no more than a delaying tactic (to put it politely) at avoiding liability for his unauthorised, dishonest and surreptitious conduct.’

Roux was seeking leave to appeal against a ruling by Saldanha, handed down in April, that made the arbitration award and an arbitration appeal award given in the university’s favour a court order.

The arbitrators found that Roux had unlawfully transferred more than R35m from the unrestricted reserves of the university, into four accounts under his control in its rugby club, Maties Rugby.

Full Business Day report

Judgment