Watson responds to SARU sacking

2015-07-03 17:30
Andre Watson (File)

Cape Town - Former Test referee and South African Rugby Union general manager of referees, Andre Watson, has responded to his sacking on Friday.

In a press release issued on Friday, Watson said:

It was with shock that I was informed of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) finding and subsequent termination of my employment with SARU. I am passionate about rugby and more specifically refereeing. It was an honour and privilege to be employed by the South African Rugby Union. I wish to offer my apologies to SARU, fellow employees and the South African rugby public for the negative publicity that emanated from this process.

Unfortunately my personal and professional integrity were damaged beyond repair following allegations devoid of any truth, widely publicised in the national and international press. The irony is that these very serious allegations did not even form part of the charges levied against me in the CCMA process. I have instructed my attorney of record to take legal action against those individuals responsible for this false rumours that tarnished by reputation and dignity and which, in my view, contributed to the outcome of CCMA process.

During the disciplinary hearing it was highlighted that the use of foul language and swearing became a habit in the rugby environment. I amongst others, made myself guilty of this. This made out the crux of the allegations levied against me. I acknowledge it to be unacceptable when representing SARU in a professional capacity. I tendered my apology and commitment to refrain from future transgressions in this regard.

Listening to evidence during the hearing I came to realize that my management style in certain instances might reasonably be interpreted as dictatorial, strict and abrasive. My attitude remains that in the high performance environment of international refereeing you have to be thick skinned and able to take criticism on the proverbial chin. In my mission to ensure that our referees remain to be regarded as the best in the world I drove a hard bargain with the referee’s in my department. I demand high performance and if not achieved I addressed this in no uncertain terms. This was apparently not acceptable for certain individuals within the fraternity.

I will never apologise for the expectations and high standards set. In retrospect I appreciate that it is not always about the message but also about the how it is conveyed. Individuals differ and the same result can be achieved by having regard to different personality types and treating them accordingly, without negating on standard and expectation.

I am advised by my attorney to refrain from any comment on the findings of the CCMA or the appropriateness of the sanction imposed under the circumstances. I have instructed my attorney to take the applicable legal steps to take the finding and sanction imposed on review.

Read more on:    saru  |  andre watson  |  rugby

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