KSA Shark ©

BBC Press Release on the Bakkies Botha situation

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Bulls on 30 Apr 2008 at 14:31

The Blue Bulls Company wants to express their disappointment with the incorrect allegations made by inter alia Bakkies Botha as set out in his application filed at the Labour Court in Johannesburg in the light of the fact that this Company endeavoured to accommodate Bakkies in every way possible. The correct circumstances are set out hereunder:

  • Bakkies Botha was originally approached by the Blue Bulls Company (the “Company”) during the course of 2000 and signed an agreement to play professional rugby for the province for an initial period of two years, whereafter he entered into a further agreement with the Company for an additional period of three years.
  • Bakkies approached the Company in the second year of this agreement and requested a further extension of his contract period. The period of the agreement was subsequently extended until 31 October 2007 and his remuneration was also substantially increased.
  • Despite the fact that the rules and regulations of the International Rugby Board as well as the South African Rugby Union prohibit a player to negotiate with any ‘club’ during the term of his agreement with his current ‘club’, Botha through his representative Bernie Habana negotiated with another union and procured a very good offer. The IRB regulations expressly state the only time negotiations with other ‘clubs’ are permissible are within the stipulated period of 120 days prior to the expiration of the player’s existing contract term.
  • Once again, the Company accommodated Bakkies and upon his own request and in order to secure his career and income, offered him employment for a further period of five years and at a significantly increased remuneration package which he gladly accepted.
  • The validity of the latter agreement of five years entered into during September 2006 and which only expires in 2011, constitutes the subject matter of the current legal proceedings in the Labour Court. As a result of this contract, concluded on the request of Bakkies Botha, the Company was unable to retain the services of several promising locks such as Francois van Schouwenburg, Adriaan Fondse and Cliff Milton.
  • The Blue Bulls Company negotiated with Bernie Habana in good faith and in view of the fact that we previously successfully concluded an agreement surrounding his son Bryan’s contract as well as the fact that Bakkies insisted on using his services.
  • The Bulls Company wanted to secure and retain the services of Bakkies and therefore accommodated him in any way possible.
  • When it was later learned that Mr Habana was not registered as an agent, the Company and its board on two separate occasions in writing requested him to do so. It is our understanding that on one occasion SA Rugby also made this request, which Mr Habana chose to ignore.
  • The Blue Bulls Company, as is the case with every other union or rugby body in South Africa and elsewhere, endeavours to secure the services of the most talented players available, and in a timeous fashion. These players, such as Bakkies, enter into a valid and enforceable agreement with the Company, negotiated collectively between the South African Rugby Employers Organisation and the South African Rugby Players Association.
  • Enforcing the provisions of such agreement is the only manner in which the Company can secure its ‘assets’, being the players, in order to enable it to properly structure and plan ahead, to assemble and maintain a highly effective and competitive team in line with the vision and goals of the coach and to effectively procure and manage funding available for the purpose of contracting and keeping aboard these players.
  • Honouring the sanctity of the agreements entered into between the Company and the players, as in any other legal relationship creating rights and obligations for the parties involved, forms the basis of and is the only way in which some sort of certainty in respect of the available players and teams can be created and also to create and maintain some sort of uniformity amongst the players.
  • Such certainty in itself is a crucial and fundamental aspect needed in order to build the moral and character of the team which enables them to successfully compete and be able to win. The importance of this principle is evident from the disruptions caused by the current situation with Bakkies.
  • This obviously furthermore directly influences and results in the procurement of inter alia sponsors needed for the existence of professional rugby in South Africa and this Company in specific, and maintaining loyal and enthusiastic spectators.
  • With this in mind, we would like to add the following:

  • The Company strongly values the talent and abilities of Bakkies as well as his influence and leadership in the team.
  • The development, growth and success of the team strongly rely on the forward planning of the officials of the Company which is done well in advance and based on the procurement of the services of these talented players, like Bakkies, available and formally contracted to us and also very often to the detriment of other players available in the market.
  • The Company cannot compromise on these aspects and shall take all necessary steps to enforce the existing agreements and retain the services of these individuals in order to create a highly successful team and to be able to implement its structures as planned and provided for.
  • Without a doubt, Bakkies and players in general like any other party to an agreement, should comply with their contractual obligations in the same manner in which the Company shall be bound to the terms of the agreement between the parties if the situation was reversed.
  • If and when a player’s agreement terminates, he will be free to then negotiate and take up employment elsewhere if he chooses to do so.


    • The Blue Bulls Company, as is the case with every other union or rugby body in South Africa and elsewhere, endeavours to secure the services of the most talented players available,

      Obviously don’t have the same atitude towards coaches though………….

    • Comment 1, posted at 30.04.08 14:34:47 by KSA Shark © (FJ!ELN!) Reply
      KSA Shark ©Head Coach
    • :mrgreen:

    • Comment 2, posted at 30.04.08 14:48:46 by Clayton Reply
      Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
    • BBC = British Broadcasting Corporation and Blue Bulls Company ……the one’s slogan is “putting news first” and the other’s is “putting the lager in front of the os”.

    • Comment 3, posted at 30.04.08 14:53:23 by Dive Pass Reply

      Dive PassCurrie Cup player
    • can’t say I disagree with any of the above…

    • Comment 4, posted at 30.04.08 14:54:25 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
      Competition Winner Administrator
      robdylanHead Coach
    • rob,

      I find it amusing that they didn’t value the sanctity of the contract when they were on the other side of the fence and managed to convince Joost to stay at the BB and turn down the UK offer he had already signed.

      Pot, kettle, black.

      I feel nothing for them.
      If they’d appointed a decent coach and the Bulls were winning and Bakkies was making progress in his career I might have a different view.

      Still shocked that Bakkies is staying with Banana. But I suppose in for a penny, in for a pound.

    • Comment 5, posted at 30.04.08 15:00:44 by VinChainSaw Reply
      VinChainSawTeam captain
    • This is what Banana had to say to 365.

      Bernie Habana, father and representative of the 2007 International Rugby Board (IRB) Player of the Year Bryan Habana, has broken his silence on his role in the protracted saga between Bakkies Botha and the Bulls.

      Botha has taken to the courts to get his contract with the Bulls annulled, in order to take up an offer from French Second Division (Pro D2) club Toulon.

      The court case, scheduled for Wednesday in the Johannesburg labour court, has been postponed till May 30 in order to allow the Bulls a “fair and reasonable chance” to prepare for the case.

      While the two parties’ lawyers work out the finer details, Botha will continue to play for the Bulls in the Super 14 competition.

      In the meantime, Habana Senior has been blamed for much of what has gone wrong in the ongoing tug-of-war between the Bulls and Toulon over the services of the World Cup-winning lock, Botha.

      In fact, Habana Snr has even been linked to an alleged threat by the players – Botha, Habana Junior and Wynand Olivier – to strike if the contract issue is not resolved in a satisfactory manner.

      Weekend newspapers reported that the details of the alleged strike formed part of the 144 pages of affidavits which Botha gave in as supporting documentation for his claim at the Labour Court to have his contracts with the Blue Bulls Company (BBC) and SA Rugby declared null and void.

      “It is the biggest rubbish out,” Bernie Habana told rugby365.com, when asked about the alleged strike threat. “I have no idea where these reports have their origins. This story about players who are threatening to strike, if Bakkies’ stuff is not resolved, is totally untrue.

      “I have the court documents in front of me and there is nothing about that in these documents. It is not in my statement to the court and certainly not in the statement made by Bakkies to the court.

      “I did receive an email from Barend van Graan [BBC CEO] in which he said that I threatened that Bryan [Habana], Bakkies [Botha] and Wynand [Olivier] would withhold their services, but I have never said anything like that.

      “There has never been a threat [to strike] and it has never been part of our plans. There has been enough opportunities [to strike], but I have always insisted that they remain professional in their conduct at the Bulls and towards the players and fans,” Habana Senior told this website.

      Habana Snr, who went out to set the record straight on a number of issues bandied about in the media on the entire saga, also dismissed the suggestion that he was responsible for negotiating the contract between Botha and Toulon.

      “Bakkies has an agreement with Toulon which was done through a French agent, not through me,” Habana explained.

      “In France, there is a regulation that only French agents can negotiate, so the reports that I did the deal is rubbish. An agent by the name of Stephane Dray did the deal… it certainly wasn’t negotiated by Bernie Habana.

      “I just passed the documentation on,” he said, adding that the Toulon deal couldn’t kick in until Botha gets clearance from SA Rugby and the Bulls – which is what the entire court case is about.

      Habana slammed the claims that he misrepresented the players and had no legal right to represent them, as he is not a registered agent. He said that he does not act as an agent and does not take commission from the players – Habana Jnr, Botha and Olivier.

      In fact, Botha and Olivier approached him, Habana Snr, to act on their behalf and he did not approach them.

      Habana Snr has also revealed that he is footing the bill for Botha’s court case and that Botha is not paying a cent – making a mockery of the media claims that he is in it for “personal gain”.

      However, as the father of Bryan Habana he is legally entitled to act on his behalf, according to SA Rugby regulations.

      The situation surrounding Botha and Olivier appears to be cloudy at best, with Habana claiming the BBC are as much to blame as he may be.

      “I certainly don’t see myself as an agent. I am simply there to help the players,” said Bernie.

      “However, what puzzles me is when I negotiated on behalf of Bakkies and Wynand in 2006, this issue, of me not being an agent, was never raised?

      “The Bulls are effectively in the same situation as myself. Why did they not tell me in 2006 that I was not allowed to negotiate on behalf of Bakkies and Wynand?

      “Why is this now suddenly being raised?”

      Habana said one of the critical issues, which will come out in the court case, is what he feels is an abuse of the players’ intellectual property rights (the right to use a player’s image for commercial gain).

      Habana said there are two key elements to the dispute.

      The one being that the players have only signed a “letter of intent” to stay with the Bulls – Habana Jnr and Olivier till 2009, with Botha’s document stating that he would stay on until 2011.

      However, while they have signed the ‘letter of intent’, none of the players signed what many people regard as the most crucial document in any player-employer deal – the Players’ Collective Bargaining Agreement (PCBA).

      “In that [PCBA] ‘contract’ there is a clause which stipulates that you can negotiate with the union in regards to the player’s intellectual property rights.

      “In 2004 when I negotiated with the Bulls, I negotiated an annexure to Brian’s contract in regards to his intellectual property rights and I just wanted to do the same for Bakkies and Wynand.

      “And that is what it is all about. There has been a lot of written communications between the Bulls and ourselves, but have we only signed a letter of intent – stating the contract will become effective once we have agreed to and signed the Players Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      “Everybody is under impression that the contract is not valid until the PCBA has been signed and none of Bryan, Wynand or Bakkies have singed the PCBA,” Habana Snr said.

      He added that he felt there has not been enough “education” of the players to inform them of their rights and that is why these misunderstandings creep in.

      “It’s almost like the blind leading the bind,” Habana said about the current set-up in SA Rugby in regards to players’ contracts.

      By Jan de Koning

    • Comment 6, posted at 30.04.08 15:04:26 by KSA Shark © (FJ!ELN!) Reply

      KSA Shark ©Head Coach
    • #6
      This will take longer than 2mins to read :wink:

    • Comment 7, posted at 30.04.08 15:12:37 by Cru-El (BABVA) Reply

      Kal-ElCurrie Cup player
    • I don’t get why Bernie is paying Bakkies’ legal fees if he’s got nothing to do with the contract negotiations.

      How much money exactly does Bernie have?

    • Comment 8, posted at 30.04.08 15:20:48 by molly Reply
      Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
      mollySuper Rugby player
    • How much money exactly does Bernie have?
      Comment 8 of 8, posted at 30.04.08 15:20:48 by molly

      Or he has a generous son….

    • Comment 9, posted at 30.04.08 15:26:12 by Dive Pass Reply

      Dive PassCurrie Cup player
    • I also like the last bit at the end. None of the players are threatening to strike BUT none of them have signed the pcba, so… is that a threat?
      They can leave whenever they want? Cause their contract, like Bakkies, is null and void without the PCBA

    • Comment 10, posted at 30.04.08 15:28:39 by molly Reply
      Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
      mollySuper Rugby player
    • BBC? Are they aware of the real BBC?

    • Comment 11, posted at 30.04.08 15:47:33 by racheltjiedebeer Reply

      McLovinAssistant coach

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