Kings' problem far from settled
SPOTLIGHT: It seems like the financial saga and internal political problems at the Southern Kings are still far from being resolved.
In recent weeks the Kings have been making headlines after the franchise delayed the payment of the players’ salaries for April.
Aside from the well-documented wages woes, the Southern Kings board Chairman Loyiso Dotwana revealed in an exclusive interview to rugby365 the magnitude the additional internal politics doing serious damage to the franchise.
The Kings Chairman confirmed sponsors walked away after the protest against the use of the respected former Bok coach, Nik Mallett, to assist the Kings in finding a suitable coach last year.
Political firebrand and Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) deputy president Bantwini Matika succeeded in eliminating Mallett from the decision-making process at the Southern Kings
Ever since there have been feelings of animosity between the Kings board and the EPRU.
However, Dotwana’s aim to resolve the problems led him to schedule a shareholders’ meeting.
The Southern Kings shareholders’ meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, May 12 but failed to take place revealed an official statement.
The reasoning for delay, according to the media statement, was the failure to secure permits for those involved.
The statement read: “The meeting between Southern Kings shareholders, the GRC and the Eastern Province Rugby Union, did not take place following failure by EPRU to secure permits, as required by law, for the sitting to commence,”
In the statement, Southern Kings Chairman Dotwana, explained: “Given the current climate around the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown regulations, the Kings Board had timeously put it to the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) that in order for the meeting to take place at the EPRU offices – where potentially, more than 10 individuals would meet – a government-issued permit would be required if an organisation is not an essential service.
“We further also suggested that perhaps the meeting rather take place via video conference, but the Eastern Province Rugby Union turned down the suggestions, insisting on an in-person meeting which is impossible during this period without the necessary permit.
“We would not want to be part of a legally non-complaint gathering, particularly one that has been so widely publicised, and we attempted all avenues at our disposal to ensure that the meeting would go ahead, but to no avail.”
The Chairman added: “The GRC remains committed to seeing the meeting going ahead and is available to meet at the earliest legally-constituted opportunity. We would also like to place it on record that we are most committed to ensuring a workable relationship with all of our partners, specifically the Eastern Province Rugby Union, as we continue to build towards the establishment a successful rugby franchise and region,”