Springbok World Cup winning lock Bakkies Botha has called the the Blue Bulls “tyrannical and autocratic” in his court papers handed in at the labour court this week.
News24 reports that the allegations, which form part of a set of 144 pages of affidavits detail the breakdown, in Botha’s opinon, of the relationship between him and the Bulls during the last year and why he filed court papers this week to ask for his contracts with SA Rugby and the Bulls be declared null and void.
In the documents, which were published by Afrikaans Sunday paper Sondag, Botha paints a picture of an irretrievable breakdown in relations with his employers and provides seven claims for the court to decide if he can be released from his five year contract from the Bulls.
The Bulls indicated last week that they would oppose his action and would give their answering affidavits in at the court this week.
In his action, Botha asked the court to force the national body to give him a clearance certificate so that he could take up a more lucrative offer at French club Toulon.
Sondag claims to be in possession of his sworn affidavits, which detail the reasons why Botha has taken the Bulls to court.
According to the affidavits, Botha admits that he asked for a five year contract in 2006 from the Bulls, but then claims that the contract was not finalised because of an outstanding agreement to discuss his image rights and come to an agreement thereon.
Rights to use the images
The images rights issue, is however, contrary to the Special Players Agreement signed by the South African Rugby Players Association and the various rugby unions for players which give sponsors rights to use the images.
Botha is reported to have became incensed when he saw his image being used on a billboard outside Pretoria.
Botha also claimed that because his agent, Bernie Habana (who is the father of IRB Player of the year Bryan Habana) was not registered as an agent with SA Rugby, the contract was negotiated under the wrong influence and therefore should be declared null and void.
But the main thrust of his argument is that he was never given leave.
Botha’s payslip, which the newspaper also published, states that he is owed 125 days annual leave. Botha’s lawyers gave the Bulls 10 days to comply with this leave requirement, or compensate him accordingly, and because they did not reply, the player’s attorneys believe they are in breach of contract and should therefore have the contract declared null and void.
However, the newspaper also published a letter from Botha, where he asked to be relieved of his obligations because of the offer from Toulon and wherein he stated “it is primarily a financial decision and nothing else.”
Botha did, however, after the Bulls turned him down, demand a salary increase to R2.25m a season, which the Bulls denied.Tweet