In a statement BMT claims that SA Rugby reneged on their contract with them which they held since 2008. This includes suspending their services without notice or reasons, changing the terms of the contract without consultation and failing to settle outstanding amounts.
Below is a statement released by BMT Solutions:
BMT Sports Solutions cc is a Communications and Media consultancy that held a fixed term contract with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) for the provision of services to the Springbok Rugby team between October 2008 and December 2011.
These services were provided by the MD of the company, Anthony Mackaiser, who in 2008 was contracted to perform the dual role of media advisor to the Springbok coach and media manager to the team. The BMT contract was renewed for the 2009 season and in 2010 it was again renewed for both the 2010 and 2011 seasons, to incorporate the Rugby World Cup.
On 30 September 2010, following a review of the Springbok coach in the wake of a disastrous Tri-Nations campaign, SARU informed Mr Mackaiser that BMT’s services to the Springbok team would not be required for the end-of-season tour to the UK and Ireland. No rationale for the decision was provided by SARU.
Mr Mackaiser was informed at the time that BMT Sports Solutions’ contract would be honoured and that the company would continue to receive payment for the remainder of the contract term.
On October 6, 2010, after seeking legal advice, BMT sent a letter to the SARU Manager National Teams in which it requested, amongst other things, to be provided with the rationale for the decision that had been taken by SARU, highlighting the fact that due process had not been followed and that SARU was in breach of contract.
On Monday October 11, 2010, BMT received a written response in which it was informed that 11 of the 24 duties for which BMT was accountable in terms of its contract had been removed. This was a further case of due process being ignored as no formal review had taken place as was stipulated in the contract.
On October 14, 2010, BMT sent a response to SARU in which it reiterated that SARU had yet to provide a rationale for its decision. BMT registered an objection to the fact that the conditions of its contract had been altered without consultation. It also stated that the removal of 11 of the 24 tasks would impede its ability to deliver results in accordance with the contract.
At this instance, BMT requested a meeting with the SARU President and Springbok coach in order to clarify the situation and resolve the matter.
A meeting with the SARU President took place in Johannesburg on November 2, 2010 and an undertaking was given to BMT by the SARU President that the matter would be resolved before the end of 2010. BMT was advised to seek a meeting with the SARU CEO.
In December 2010, after a meeting with the SARU CEO, BMT was given an undertaking, confirmed in writing, that the matter would be resolved in one of three ways:
1 That BMT services to the Springbok team would be resumed (This did not happen)
2 That BMT services would be re-deployed elsewhere in the SARU Communications structures as of February/March 2011 (SARU did not pursue this)
3 That BMT and SARU terminate their contract based on an agreed settlement.
BMT received payment from SARU until the end of February 2011. In the absence of a resolution, Mr Mackaiser took up employment with SANZAR in Australia from March 2011. Despite this, BMT offered SARU the services of a senior consultant to for the balance of the contract, which was dismissed by SARU.
With the matter unresolved, BMT took legal recourse and in early 2011 instituted a claim against SARU that has two components:
1 Payment of outstanding bonuses
2 Settlement of balance of contact
Since then, SARU has failed to agree to a settlement and the matter remains unresolved almost 18 months since BMT’s services were unilaterally suspended in October 2010.
BMT remains committed to resolving this matter amicably and fairly.