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Media consultancy company takes legal action against SARU

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BMT Sports Solutions has taken legal action against SA Rugby for what they claim is a breach of contract between SA Rugby and BMT.

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.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. The beauricratic/political/legal battles detailed on this blog regarding SARU is amazing.
    Makes me wonder what the negative impact on SA’s GDP were everyone to just chill out and mess around with reserving fields and signing advertisers – you know mundane stuff.
    I don’t think you could take all the USA pro sports leagues put together and come up with the volume of discord I’ve seen detailed here.
    I’m not saying that that is a better than type thing. Just interesting to see how sport is administered differently depending on location.
    Biggest difference I guess is government involvement. Very rare in US. But that creates other sorts of issues I suppose.

  2. Wait Wait Wait boys…

    This is what MacKaizer is best at… media spin…

    We just have one side of the story so far…

    How about we see the contract and then hear what SARU says.

    And how about a court make a decision first before we eat what one party in litigation says like little ou tannie lapdogs sniff the tannie’s farts while sleeping on her lap.

    The idea that a commercial entity that has lawfully terminated a contract must somehow “consult” or “explain” why it does so as of right is utter kak and not recognized in our law except in an employer / employee contract which this is not.

    As a matter of interest since MacKaizer was replaced with Andy Colqhoun SARU Communications ahs been far better.

  3. Reply to DavidS @ 11:17 am:

    The idea that a commercial entity that has lawfully terminated a contract must somehow “consult” or “explain” why it does so as of right is utter kak
    —–
    My first thoughts as well.

  4. Mackaiser, now that rings a bell of which I don’t like sound of much. I’m not sure why, but I can’t say that I have a good opinion of him. Is he not a crony of ou bergdwerg?

    Anyways, “…who in 2008 was contracted to perform the dual role of media advisor to the Springbok coach and media manager to the team.”
    Iemand moes hom lankal ‘n :nutkick: gegee het – wat ‘n uiterste :poop: job het hy nie met ou Snorrie gedoen nie??!! En vir ‘n hele 4 jaar lank! (P.S. Smaak my nou dat ou Snorrie sonder sy dienste is, praat hy minder str*nt… )

    Alweer op die onderwerp van Snor – wanneer revamp iemand vir ons hierdie enetjie? :pdv:
    Of moet daar ook eers gedreig, dagvaar of kontrak gebreuk word…

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