Kings saga: “Watson’s letters to players a disgrace” - DA

BY CHARL BOSCH - DECEMBER 24, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Nelson Mandela Bay has described the ongoing saga surrounding the troubled Eastern Province Kings rugby team as “disgraceful”, and that it needs to be resolved as quickly as possible.

Speaking in a statement, DA MPL Ross Purdon said the handling of the franchise by beleaguered President Cheeky Watson, has been a “travesty” from the onset, adding that the party has managed to secure letters from the union which explains why they have not been able to pay players’ salaries since September.

“In a letter dated 15 December 2015, the players (in a shameful, two sentence letter from Cheeky Watson) are told they (the Franchise) do not have any further information regarding salaries,” Prudon said.

“Further to this letter, another letter from Watson dated 18th December informs a number of players that their contracts are to be terminated (seven days before Christmas) and with no regard to outstanding duration thereof”.

Referring to a recent visit by Eastern Cape MEC of Sports, Art and Culture, Pemmy Majodina, Prudon said while the party welcomes her concern, it is unlikely that the matter would be resolved given the size of the Department’s budget.

“While her intentions are good, this is not going to solve the short term problem of young families being left destitute during the festive season,” he said.

“As the South African Rugby Union (SARU) has recently taken control of the Southern Kings Franchise, we would like to appeal to them to immediately assist the stricken players. It is very clear that no financial or humanitarian aid will be forthcoming from the author of the aforementioned letters”.