Cape Town - The South African Rugby Union
(SARU) on Friday confirmed the arbitration award that was issued by the
Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to the effect
that the employment of Andre Watson, the general manager of referees, with SARU
has been terminated.
At the beginning of this year, a number of
people within the referees’ department lodged a grievance against Watson and
SARU commissioned an independent investigation into the grievance.
As a result of the findings, the CCMA was
requested to consider certain allegations relating to Watson. Contrary to some earlier reports, the
allegations that were dealt with by the CCMA did not relate to racism,
financial irregularities, misappropriation or match fixing but to the
relationship between Watson and a number of people within the referees’ department
and in turn the impact of such relationship on SARU.
The CCMA found that the allegations that
had been levelled against Watson had been proved and as a consequence the CCMA
found that the employment of Watson with SARU should be terminated. The CCMA’s finding is final and binding on
SARU and Watson.
Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU, said: “The CCMA
process has been concluded and the CCMA Commissioner has issued a finding which
is final and binding on SARU and Watson.
“This has been an unfortunate and difficult
period for SARU - both for our match officials who were involved in the process
- and, of course, for Andre Watson personally and professionally.
“We took the grievance seriously and have
followed a thorough, independent process which culminated in SARU parting ways
with Andre Watson. It was a difficult process but nonetheless a necessary
“We will move on from here and my wish is
that Andre is remembered for his contribution to match officiating and not for
the circumstances relating to his departure from SARU. He has been a major
figure in world refereeing for a number of decades and has been part of
developing South African referees into some of the best in the world.”
Roux said that it was important that South
African match officials operated in a harmonious environment and he would
address them collectively on the future of their Department.
The management and operations of the
Referees’ Department would, in the meantime, be handled by SARU’s Rugby
Roux said that he would make no further
comment on the matter out of respect for Andre Watson’s contribution to rugby
and to allow the fraternity to focus on the future after a difficult and trying