Mak­ing a fresh start

The play­ers’ union claims Amakhosi are vi­o­lat­ing labour law in the way they’ve dumped 20 play­ers

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

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.”

PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU / GALLO IM­AGES

TOUGH Kaizer Chiefs team man­ager Bobby Mo­taung has ac­cused the play­ers’ union of not be­ing le­git­i­mate

PHOTO: LEE WAR­REN / GALLO IM­AGES

REP­RE­SEN­TA­TIVE Safpu’s Thu­la­ganyo Gaoshubelwe says they will fight for the rights of play­ers

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