SARU still dragging their feet

Thu, 20 Dec 2012 08:08
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It is unacceptable that this matter remains unresolved

The South African Rugby Union may find themselves caught up in legal drama next year if a long-standing contractual dispute is not resolved soon.

This is the view of media consultancy BMT Sports Solutions, who have been in dispute with SARU over - what BMT claim are - outstanding payments owed to them.

BMT said on Thursday that if they cannot resolve the matter with SARU, there may be no option but to take legal action in the new year.

The dispute relates to a period when BMT were contracted to provide media services to the Springbok team - then coached by Peter de Villiers.

Anthony Mackaiser, in his capacity as MD of the company, provided these services.

BMT said that their compensation claim against SARU, for alleged breach of contract, remains unresolved after more than two years.

"The claim relates to SARU's premature termination in October 2010 of its contract with BMT for the supply of media and communications services to the Springbok rugby team," BMT said.

The contract was effective until after the World Cup in December 2011 and BMT are seeking compensation for payment of the balance of the contract as well as outstanding win bonuses due from the 2010 season.

BMT said the company and their legal representatives have engaged SARU over the past 24 months with regard to settling the matter.

However, SARU have been unresponsive despite assurances given by their President (Oregan Hoskins) and CEO (Jurie Roux) in 2010 and 2011 that the matter would be  suitably resolved.

"BMT's contract with SARU to provide a range of dedicated services to the Springboks was unilaterally terminated without due process being followed or valid reasons being provided ," a BMT spokesman said.

"In January 2011, BMT was given a written assurance that if SARU was unable to utilise the company's services for the remainder of the contract term, the contract would be officially terminated by mutual consent and BMT duly compensated.  This did not happen and SARU has failed to honour its undertaking.

"It is unacceptable that this matter remains unresolved after more than two years and BMT continues to be frustrated by SARU's lack of action.
"BMT entered into settlement discussions with SARU in good faith and expects SARU to act with the integrity and responsibility that is warranted of such an organisation.
"BMT is not unreasonable and remains committed to an amicable solution," the BMT spokesman said.

SARU declined to comment on the BMT claims.