NMBRA and AfriForum PE call for EP Kings' Cheeky Watson's head
The Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers Association (NMBRA) and AfriForum Port Elizabeth have joined some voices calling for the axing of struggling EP Kings' Cheeky Watson echoing sentiment by an alleged EP Kings player that he runs the club like a 'family mafia'.
"In the hope that the Financial crisis would be averted, the NMB Ratepayers Association withheld a High Court Application for a period of eight weeks prior to serving it last week against the NMBM, Access Management and certain Metro officials in order to bring an end to the mismanagement in EP Rugby," NMBRA Chairperson and AfriForum PE Vice Chairperson, Kobus Gerber said.
"We have held meetings with Cheeky Watson, various Clubs, EP Board Members, and have been in contact with SARU, SARPA, players agents and the Metro including Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan, to try to bring a sustainable Sponsor onboard and secure financial stability.
"A player (see letter below) mentions clearly that Cheeky Watson runs EP Rugby like a 'family mafia', no doubt that this did not help with his political connections.
"How can one selfish person like Cheeky Watson believe he is bigger and mightier than rugby."
Gerber said that "EP Rugby supporters will crucify him after what he has put our beloved EP Kings players and officials through and deservedly so.
"The only problem I have, and it is unfortunate, is that players and officials will not stand up against him and, believe me I do understand why these players refuse to do so, but it’s now make or break and I would like to see all players and officials unite with us in our fight against Watson.
"We need to run him out of EP Rugby and we have to pray that what happened with our beloved Kings will never be repeated and allowed by SARU ever again."
Gerber said that they are working to ensure that Watson will not be part of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) administration that is scheduled to take over the running of the Southern Kings franchise ahead of the upcoming Vodacom Super Rugby season.
"The real fight is about to start and we now ask all rugby supporters to get involved in the campaign 'Cheeky must fall' and send Jurie Roux and Oregan Hoskins an email in support of all players and officials touched by this tragic disaster."
EP Kings Players Fund
In the meantime, Gerber said that they had launched a fund to support players.
"We have kick started an 'EP Kings Players Fund' to assist players through these tough times, both now and into the future. Please support this initiative by NMBRA," he explained.
"We believe prevention is better than cure and over the last few months it has become clear that if a player’s fund was in place to support our beloved Kings, the situation of players leaving in difficult times to bigger or more stable unions could have been prevented.
"The fund would also support players in unforeseen circumstances to allow them continued financial stability. This would enable them to focus on playing the sport we so dearly love and not have financial burdens distracting them from the pressure the professional arena of rugby already brings to players."
Gerber said that the fund will be administered by Brown, Braude & Vlok Inc. The trust account and contact details are as follows:
Bank Name: Standard Bank
Bank Account Number: 080 118 208
Branch Code: 050017
Reference Number: EPKPF followed by your surname/company name
All contributions must be made into this trust account.
"We take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of all EP Kings players who are in need of your generous contribution. May this initiative be well supported. Please contact Monique on 041 365 3668 should you require further information or clarity," he said.
Gerber urged supporters, stakeholders and players at EP Kings to support their campaign against Watson by sending emails to Jurie Roux - [email protected] , Oregan Hoskins - [email protected] stating how frustrated they are.
Alleged letter from an alleged unhappy EP Rugby player that was posted on Facebook
Time at the Kings has been a surreal one, something an award winning writer couldn't of written, it's been turbulent, something out of a horror novel, something that no one should go through or experience. The experiences we've had to endure have been painful to say the least, experiences I don't wish on my worst enemies.
This whole payment ordeal has been the icing on the cake. Dealing with a president that would give Hitler a proper run for his money, dealing with his constant lying and comments like "I'm a Christian but I'll slit your throat and ask for forgiveness" has been damaging to say the least. How management and son have employed strategies of fear and intimidation to keep power has created an environment where people are scared to talk and be themselves and where the Kings as a team has dissolved into a minority with political and/or hidden agendas.
People must understand than its not only the players but their families and friends that have all been caught in the middle of this diabolical mess. The sheer arrogance of the people in charge has led the union straight into the pits of debt,employees who are being blacklisted and players and staff doing anything to make ends meat, the inability of the bosses to land sponsors or win any sort of goodwill has been diminished along with young players dreams and goals.
How can a president still have the audacity to hold a chair in office and not relinquish his reign? The best interests of the real assets (the players) are being totally disregarded by EP/SARU and the players association which is SARPA. Who have "acted" by giving a R1000 food voucher... I ask you!!! What is your food bill?? How much is your bond? Your car? School fees? Medical aid? Etc etc etc...
When will proper due diligence prevail and the livelihoods of the players be made most important. The president has failed. It's got nothing to do with transformation/quota system/which Union is fielding the most players of color, it's got everything to do with people's lives, people like you and me, normal people with normal responsibilities and bills.
Left and right you see comments from all corners, SARU, The DA, the transformation coalition, the clubs, yet the real crux of the problem is still seated in his chair of power, the dictator who as of the first month of this happening should of been without a job, yet political partnerships are more important than the lives of people. Yes I am a player, and yes I'm keeping my name anonymous, not because I'm a coward, but because I know the Kings is run by a "family mafia" and I'm afraid of the consequences people close to me may be subjected too.
Judging by threatening messages my team mates and staff members have received from father and son, I'm making the right decision to remain anonymous. Earlier today a team mate cried out for help, I'm joining that train, however I'm not asking for money, I'm asking for action, people to stand up against the atrocities of this dictatorship, get rid of "Hitler", and everyone that comes along with him, and this Union will flourish. However, all I see in the country is a rugby board and union (SARU and unions) driven by agendas, rotten to the core.
I pray God will not only help the Kings, but help South Africa. Rugby in this country is burning and falling. People don't understand how toxic and poisonous this environment is, it's sickening and dysfunctional , and please supporters of the Kings and everyone out there must understand , this is no joke, players and employees are suffering, being kicked out of their homes, cars being taken away, electricity being cut off and living on bowls of rice. This is a tragedy. Players are suffering and the blood is on the hands of the man at the helm.
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