SA Football Players Union (SAFPU) is accusing GladAfrica Championship side Swallows FC of not playing by the book.
FARPost understands that in October the Dube Birds released a list of players that then new head coach Brandon Truters deemed surplus to requirements.
According to the union’s secretary general Calvin Motloung, the club has failed to reach a settlement with 11 of those players.
“Sometime last year in November Swallows wanted to release them from their contracts when the new coach Truter arrived,” Motloung explained.
“When he got there that 11 they wanted to release from their contracts because they had a big squad. But then they wanted to settle them with two months (salaries).
“So the players did not agree to that, they refused to take the proposed two months. Others they were left with 6 months, others 12 months, others 18 months you see. Because we were there as the union, we had a meeting with Panyaza Lesufi, and Mr (Sipho) Xulu concerning the matter. So we agreed that our clients are not going to take two months, they don’t want two months. And they said they can at least offer four months.
“We said ok it’s fine. But because their contracts are not the same, us we cannot agree to that, or nor deny that. We need to go back to the players and hear what they have to say. Some they said they are good with four months, some they said six, some they said they want their contracts to be paid out all of it.
“So then Swallows sent a notice to the players telling them that ‘we will be communicating with the union on behalf of you guys, anything that you need to know you must ask the union. Because they are your representatives.’ We were fine with that. We’ve been talking with Swallows, up until Swallows appointed the lawyer Mr Mandla Tshabalala to be the one who handles this matter.
“To our surprise what they’ve been doing is that, they’ve been paying players, every month. But they don’t want them at training. These boys have not been training from November if not October. So to our surprise on the first week of January, Xulu sent clearances to the players. Without talking to us. Now it appears as if us as a union we are negotiating with Swallows using our instructions and not those of the players.
“With Swallows issuing the clearances it means they are terminating the contracts unilaterally so. You cannot terminate the contract alone, you need the second person that you are with in that contract. They decided to terminate the contracts unlawfully so. They didn’t even speak to the union. Players they don’t have jobs, players are not training, but they are paying them. You see when they are paying the players, there’s nothing we can do. The reason is what? You want to destroy those players. It means they are happy to pay the players because they don’t want to see them working.”
To practice fair play, FARPost contacted Swallows CEO Xulu who said the following;
“I think it’s best not to say much about this to the media because I might end up disputing or confirming something that is not true. So I think, we will prefer that if there’s anything that we must discuss about the issue of these boys, I think it would be better if we discuss it in a platform where we can resolve it. I don’t think if there are issues they can be resolved through the media.
”And another thing we want to respect, it’s the employer, employee agreement. But for now I cannot confirm nor deny it if what they saying happened. Except that if there is anything that is not correct I’m sure that our door is open for anyone who wants get more information about this. Because when you are with the media I think you will start creating wrong perceptions. And our aim is to make sure every party involved here is protected.”
By Musa Nhlapo