Bulls appoint Interim President
NEWS: Following the resignation of former Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU) President Gert Wessels, the BBRU today announced that Willem Strauss, Vice President for the past four years, has been appointed as the Interim President until November 2018.
Wessels handed in his resignation after a section within the union tabled a motion of no confidence in him, citing his 'reckless behaviour' outside his mandate which 'ruined' the union financially.
Wessels has been making the headlines since last week when media reports made it public that the president "allegedly made several unauthorised loan transfers from the union’s funds to the BBC, but the payments appear to be in arrears,"
It was also reported that Blue Bulls Company is close to being declared bankrupt and is surviving on more loans and favours.
Despite his decision, Wessels maintained his innocence and has told media that the union – as an equal shareholder – has a responsibility to finance the company pro rata.
Who is Willem Strauss?
In 1991 at the tender age of 24 Strauss was appointed as Manager and Executive officer of the South-Eastern Transvaal Rugby Union (Mpumalanga Rugby Union). He held this position for eight years until 1999, elevating them from 22 to five on the South African provincial rugby rankings, creating a formidable team beating the likes of Transvaal, Northern Transvaal and Western Province in various Cup matches in the late 1990s. They also defeated Scotland and Wales in that time period. Strauss was also responsible for securing huge sponsorships to assist in improving South-Eastern Rugby.
Between 1996 and 1999 he also filled the role of Marketing Manager of the Northern Bulls Super 12 franchise. He thereafter established his own promotion company that specializes in promoting rugby tournaments, events, incoming and outgoing tours of teams to inter alia Africa, Europe, USA, South America, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Dubai.
He arranged a test between Samoa and the Springboks, which was the first ever by a private promoter. The @tlantic tournament which he was responsible for drew more than a 1000 school teams. He also played a leading role in establishing Sevens rugby in South Africa, and in 2017 he promoted the tours of the SA Barbarians (club players) to the Czech Republic.
He is the step-brother of Springbok flyhalf De Wet Ras.
Additional source: Netwerk24com