Rugby ball (Getty Images)
- Sport24 can reveal that Valke CEO Jurie Coetzee has been suspended.
- Allegations against Coetzee relate to financial irregularities serious enough to cost him the job, according to a well-placed source.
- Valke were recently involved in the Global Rapid Rugby innovative tournament that was grounded prematurely because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Provincial rugby union, Valke, have suspended its CEO Jurie Coetzee, Sport24 can reveal.
The union’s director of rugby, Rudy Joubert, confirmed the suspension, which took effect last month, while rugby has been dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Joubert would not reveal the reasons behind Coetzee’s suspension, but Sport24 has learnt from a well-placed internal source that the suspension relates to alleged financial irregularities found and reported to their board.
“Yes, there is a precautionary suspension,” said Joubert.
“I cannot share what the suspension is about because it’s something we have to give to an independent investigator to have a look at and wait for the feedback.
“If I say something about it, I could imply that he’s done something wrong. But there was something that was brought to our attention that we had to report and to suspend him, so that he wouldn’t interfere with the investigation.”
The source told Sport24 that the allegations could see Coetzee possibly “not coming back” into his role.
“When this thing happened, we weren’t even informed by the board,” they said.
“But we noticed that he was scarce in the email communique. The last email we got from him was when they sent out the COVCOM (Covid-19 Management Committee) resolution of how they were going to do cost cutting and salary cuts, back in April.
“What we were then told was, he has been asked to step aside because of some financial irregularities. They said he was suspended.
“The charges are apparently of such a serious nature that the board member who informed us said he does not think [Coetzee] is gonna come back.”
Valke were recently involved with Malaysian rugby during the breakaway Global Rapid Rugby tournament that took place briefly in March this year, where only one round was played before the spread of Covid-19.
The tournament, which was set to host games in Asia, the Pacific and Australasia, was meant to be an innovative rugby concept, where 70-minute games were played instead of the usual 80 and new “laws” designed to encourage attractive rugby.
Joubert confirmed that the allegations against Coetzee weren’t related to the tournament.
“It’s not related to that [Global Rapid Rugby]. That’s all that I can say for now.”