Mitchell disciplinary hearing postponed, says De Klerk
The disciplinary hearing into allegations of misconduct against the Lions’ suspended coach John Mitchell has been postponed until next week, Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) president Kevin de Klerk said on Tuesday.
“It was postponed until next week after the chairperson of the hearing had taken ill,” De Klerk said.
Mitchell was suspended at the end of June pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct filed against the coach by a number of players and was replaced by interim coach Johan Ackermann.
The internal arbitration started three weeks ago and resumed on Monday.
Mitchell guided the Lions to their first Currie Cup title since 1999, but they ended the recently concluded Super Rugby campaign at the bottom of the log, having won only three of their 16 fixtures.
A month after Mitchell’s suspension the union announced the dismissal of assistant coaches Carlos Spencer (backline coach) and Wayne Taylor (conditioning coach).
The Lions’ woes were compounded in mid-August when the SA Rugby Union’s general council confirmed that the Johannesburg-based side would be relegated from next year’s Super Rugby competition.
De Klerk said the Union had since worked tirelessly to find competition for the team ahead of a promotion-relegation match at the end of the 2013 Super Rugby season against the bottom team in the South African conference.
A delegation from the SA Rugby Union (Saru) have since met with the GLRU to discuss ways of managing the impact of the Lion’s exclusion from the competition.
“We are moving very fast waiting for assistance Saru offered to us as we need to proceed rapidly to inform our stakeholders,” he said.
De Klerk also said on Tuesday that a meeting to appease former Transvaal and Lions players over their concerns last Friday had gone well.
“I addressed 78 old players on Friday and spoke to them on the state of the union and what we would do going forward,” De Klerk said.
“The feedback at the meeting and afterwards was very positive.”