Making a fresh start
The players’ union claims Amakhosi are violating labour law in the way they’ve dumped 20 players
Kaizer Chiefs and the SA Football Players’ Union (Safpu) are at each other’s throats after Chiefs released a massive clearout list of players this week. The union has accused Chiefs of unfair labour practice after Amakhosi made public a list of 20 players who were released from their contracts or put on transfer.
Safpu claims that some of the affected players accuse Chiefs of not consulting with them before terminating their contracts.
Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung yesterday insisted that Siboniso Gaxa had not extended his contract with Chiefs, as reported by the club’s official Twitter account in October, explaining that they had been dealing with the matter internally.
“Even Bernard [Parker] just signed now, not back then. If we agree in principle, does it mean you have signed? Nope,” said Motaung.
“What I know is that Pa has been given the letter, just like other players, and that’s it. We engaged with him and everybody else.”
Gaxa’s business manager, Glyn Binkin, said as far as they were concerned the player had extended his contract and were seeking legal advice on the matter.
“Why did they issue a statement on their official platforms? The truth will come out soon,” said Binkin.
Motaung launched a scathing attack on the union, saying they had never been there for the players. He questioned the union’s legitimacy. “We are a professional club and do everything according to the book, and have done everything above board. We have engaged with these players before issuing the statement.”
He said the union was seeking to score points with cheap publicity. “We have never heard from them when the players were underperforming and the team was losing matches. Where were they when these players were not performing?” he asked.
“Don’t tell me about this union, because we don’t deal with them.”
Motaung insisted Chiefs had followed proper channels. “No player can say they were not consulted. We did nothing wrong. If there is a player with a dispute there are platforms to raise their grievances. We have made our decisions and we are ready to rock and roll. People want results and we had to act.”
Safpu secretary-general Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe said the union would fight for what they believed was right.
“There is a rule of law in this country and here we are talking about unfair labour practice. We will go to the highest court in the land to ensure our players are treated fairly by the clubs,” said Gaoshubelwe.
“If a player’s contract is coming to an end, so be it, but those who still have a valid contract should be compensated. Imagine you know you have a contract and, the next thing, they say it’s been terminated. This is not on, and we are going to fight it.”
Gaoshubelwe said it was about time the clubs played fairly with the players and the union.
“We are talking about people’s lives here and we cannot sit back while our players are being marginalised and treated like nobodies. We will fight whoever ill-treats our players. They have rights.”
Gaoshubelwe said Motaung was the last person to accuse the union of not representing their players.
“He knows very well what I am talking about, because they refuse us entry to their club. We have written endless letters to them asking for a meeting with the players, as it is contained in our bargaining agreement with the league, but they refused to give us a hearing. Instead, they tell the players it’s up to them, which is intimidation of some sort because they might victimise those who join the union.”
TOUGH Kaizer Chiefs team manager Bobby Motaung has accused the players’ union of not being legitimate
REPRESENTATIVE Safpu’s Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe says they will fight for the rights of players