D-day for Spears

The judge presiding over the Spears High Court case will deliver judgement next Friday.

Judge Dennis Davis said this morning that he will make the announcement, following the criminal appeals next week. The Judge heard the Spears closing arguments last Friday from Advocate Geoff Budlender, and declared that he would provide a ruling as soon as possible.

The Spears brought an urgent application against SA Rugby to have the rights granted to them, on 8th June last year, by SA Rugby’s Presidents Council and the SA Rugby Board, restored.

Norman Arendse SC and Advocate Budlender, representing the Spears, asked the High Court for an order for immediate relief, for the re-instatement of the Spears in the Super 14, for 2007 and 2008.

They also asked that the Spears exclusion from the 2006 Absa Currie Cup be declared unlawful and for the Spears and SA Rugby to craft a remedy for the compensation to the Spears and that SA Rugby continue their obligations to the Spears through until December 2006.

The Southern Spears legal counsel, showed the court “five smoking guns” drawn up and issued by SA Rugby, as irrefutable evidence of an agreement and clear understanding of the rights granted to the Southern Spears by SA Rugby on the 8th June 2005. These were:

1. An agreement drawn up by an attorney, instructed by SA Rugby, on the 8 June 2005 following the Presidents Council resolution.

2. A memo from SA Rugby’s Chief Financial Officer Basil Haddad to the SA Rugby directors on the 3rd November 2005 that there is a commitment to the Spears of a minimum of R3m and that the balance would be made up by sponsors.

3. The 2nd December 2005 ratification by the SA Rugby Board, of the 8th June Presidents Council resolution.

4. The Franchise Participation Agreement drawn up by SA Rugby Pty Ltd with the 6 South African Super 14 franchises, which the Spears signed on the 7th February 2006.

5. A 10th March 2006 letter from SA Rugby’s GM Legal Affairs, Christo Ferreira, declaring that, “the decisions taken by the Board on the 2nd December have not been amended or deviated from and it is obvious that they will be implemented in 2007”.