Mapoe saga continues
Johannesburg – Lionel Mapoe’s unhappiness with the Cheetahs stems from his salary package - and the saga over whether he has a valid contract with the Free State or not and will be joining the Sharks, is still a long way from over.
Mapoe’s legal team on Thursday brought an application for leave to appeal against the judgement by the Free State High Court that the wing has a valid contract with the Cheetahs and cannot play for the Sharks.
However, the High Court is in recess until 11 October and a date to hear Mapoe’s application for leave to appeal can only be set then.
Until that time the South African sevens player is not compelled to report for duty in Bloemfontein.
Mapoe has been training with the Sharks in Durban for a month amid the tug-of-war over his services between them and Free State.
In 2007, he was paid only R60 000 per year to play for the Cheetahs. Free State increased his salary to R220 000 per year by the end of 2008 after he had played for the national sevens team.
Players with “similar experience and talent” were paid up to R750 000 by the Cheetahs to remain in Bloemfontein.
The Sharks are willing to pay Mapoe R100 000 per month for his services.
Should Mapoe be successful in gaining leave to appeal, the case could still drag on for months and it may have a negative effect on his Springbok touring ambitions.
Mapoe, who last played in the Super 14 on 20 March, is on the shortlist of the national selectors.
Free State recently refused to release Mapoe for the SA sevens side after the team’s coach, Paul Treu, requested that he be released for the Commonwealth Games.
Free State indicated that they would like to involve Mapoe in their Currie Cup plans as soon as possible once the case between them and Sharks has been concluded.