The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd (BBC) is sitting on another contract bomb, which may just explode before they have managed to douse the fires caused by the protracted Bakkies Botha saga.
Jan de Koning of Rugby 365 writes that one of the central issues in the Botha versus Bulls case is the fact that Botha was represented in his negotiations with the Bulls by Bernie Habana, who is the father of International Rugby Board (IRB) Player of the Year Bryan Habana.
However, Habana was never registered as an agent. Even though he is adamant he has never taken any commission for his role in the negotiations and is acting as a representative not an agent, this – Habana not being a registered agent – is a key point in legal dispute.
rugby365.com can now reveal that Habana is not the only unregistered agent that has been doing business with the Bulls. In fact there may be several others.
Respected coach Paul Anthony, who has been involved in the Blue Bulls age-group structures for years, is one of those “unregistered agents” whose name has popped up in rugby365.com’s discussions with influential figures in the Bulls structures.
Anthony, a former teacher at Pretoria Boys High School (PBHS), has on his books Springbok hooker Mahlatse ‘Chiliboy’ Ralepelle – the first black player to lead a senior Springbok team on the field.
According to this website’s information Anthony not only negotiated on behalf of Ralepelle – who captained PBHS when Anthony was head coach of the school’s first team – but he also took commission for representing the Bok front row forward.
It is uncertain how many other players currently have Bulls contracts negotiated by unregistered players, but it is clear the Botha case has opened a can of worms in Pretoria.
Botha brought an application – in terms of Section 158(1)(a)(iii)(iv) and (vii) of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 – in the Johannesburg Labour court to obtain a release from the five-year extension he signed to his contract – which ties him to the Bulls till 2011.
The Bok second row forward, who has gone public with his wishes to join the ambitious French Second Division (Pro D2) outfit Toulon – who have lost the services of fellow World Cup-winning Bok Victor Matfield – disputes the validity of his contract with the Bulls.
The court case, originally scheduled for last 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.Tweet