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SAFPU statement on the Lehlohonolo Majoro case

Written By Themba Khumalo on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The South African Football Players Union (SAFPU) have explained why former Kaizer Chiefs striker Lehlohonolo Majoro can play for Orlando Pirates as soon as possible.

Statement from the South African Football Players Union (SAFPU):

"As SAFPU we would like to put it on record and confirm that Lehlohonolo Majoro was free to join any club and play immediately, due to the fact that he was declared a free agent on Saturday, 22 February 2014. It is a fact that No player can be declared a free agent by mutual agreement between him and his previous club. Even if a club and player agree to terminate his agreement, does not entitle a player to be a free agent.

"It is only the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the National Soccer League ("DRC") which does have the powers to declare a player a free agent and only on receipt of such declaration, the player will be entitled to register outside the window period for any club of his choice. Therefore, it is irrelevant what any parties may agree, the DRC is the only body which may declare a player a free agent, in which instance the DRC duly did on 22 February 2014, after it fully heard argument from the SAFPU. Chiefs opted not to oppose the application for free agency.

"Majoro, is properly registered with the NSL, is entitled to play football immediately, without any club being at risk to be "DOCKED" points. A player is eligible to play for his club as long as his registration fully complies with all requirements for registration in terms of the NSL Rules. The fact that Majoro was issued a free agency declaration by the DRC, entitles him (with reference to Rule 28.4 of the NSL Rules), that he may be registered outside the window period.

"The statement made by Chiefs that Majoro did not have to go to the DRC to force an end to his contract and declare him a free agent, is INCORRECT AND MISCONCEIVED. The union on behalf of Majoro referred the matter to the DRC due to Chiefs' conduct and ill treatment of him as a professional player. The way Chiefs treated Majoro in the last few months, withholding his monthly salaries etc. left the player with no other choice other than to approach the DRC. Chiefs infringed on the fundamental rights of Majoro, as a Professional footballer. This needs to be reported to FIFA and FIFPRO, in order to ensure that the principle of contractual stability is complied with. All of this would not have happened, if Chiefs did in fact honour its agreement with Majoro.

"Despite the right of Majoro to be declared a free agent, Majoro furthermore also had the right to claim the balance of his agreement from Chiefs due to the fact that Chiefs' breached his contract. However the damages claim for moneys due and payable to Majoro and the claim for moneys due in terms of the balance of his agreement, was indeed settled by the parties. And furthermore, this settlement agreement in respect of these claims were in fact settled, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION THAT MAJORO BEING DECLARED A FREE AGENT. In other words, if Majoro was not declared a free agent by the DRC, there would have been no agreement in respect of payment of any moneys.

"Therefore, the DRC, the only competent forum of the NSL, lawfully issued the free agency declaration for Majoro, which entitles him to play immediately for any club.

"We hope this sends a clear message to all clubs in South Africa. Honour the players' contract as expected and been prescribed by FIFA Statues; and further hope that a great young professional player now be allowed to proceed with his career, in the interest of football in South Africa."
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