South Africa's sport minister Fikile Mbalula has promised to investigate the breakdown in negotiations between the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) and former potential equity partners the Guma TAC group.
Mbalula said on Saturday he had met with SA Rugby Union (SARU) president Oregan Hoskins this week - on the sidelines of the 123rd International Olympic Committee Session in Durban - to discuss the spoiled relationship.
"We are indeed concerned about the extent to which all the parties perceive their role in relation to transformation and unity in sport," Mbalula said in a statement.
Mbalula believed the partnership between the GLRU and Guma TAC had collapsed due to a resistance against transformation.
"I believe there is a ploy to thwart transformation by elements within our society who have no regard for social cohesion and a united sporting fraternity," he said.
Mbalula said he had asked Hoskins to investigate the matter and report back.
He had also written to GLRU president Kevin de Klerk to request a meeting for a first hand briefing on the breakdown in the GLRU's relationship with the investors.
Negotiations ended last month after Guma TAC partners Robert Gumede and Ivor Ichikowitz sent a letter to De Klerk, leaked to the media, in which the investors gave detailed reasons for withdrawing from talks to buy a 49.9 percent stake in the union.
The Guma TAC partners accused the Lions' executive of keeping them in the dark and preventing them from playing an active role at the union.
They also said they expected the Lions, who were allegedly in deep financial trouble, to pay back more than R14 million which Guma TAC had invested in the GLRU since negotiations started in October of last year.
De Klerk said in a statement that the Lions had always been "honourable in engaging with an equity partner", and they were already in negotiations with other investors.
He also denied that the union could not meet financial commitments after Guma TAC alleged the GLRU had been unable to pay salaries and stood to lose as much as R100 million in sponsorships negotiated by Guma TAC.
"Suffice to say, we are already considering an offer from an alternative equity partner and can assure our supporters that the Lions' 120-year legacy is not being compromised," De Klerk said.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.