DANIE VAN HEERDEN: A LETTER TO THE FANS
Dear MMA fans
Undoubtedly it has now come to everyone’s attention that I have been found guilty of racism by the disciplinary board of MMASA. It is not a surprise that they have taken this view, however, and I do wish to state that this finding is predetermined and premeditated. My hearing was conducted on Saturday 5 November by a disciplinary board consisting of Mr. Bertus Coetzee, Mr. Ferdi Basson and Mr. Nick Savvides all of who are on the board of MMASA and Mr. Coetzee being the President of this board.
I believe that there is a presumption in our law that a person is innocent until proven guilty however this is clearly not the case when MMASA is determining a matter. Without going into the full merits and the conduct of the hearings it is important to know that I was charged in terms of the code of conduct with unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse and visible obscenities. The charge of racism is covered by a separate charge under which I was never charged and no complaint was laid against me. Even at the hearing Mr. Moyo himself never testified nor were there any witnesses produced from the side of MMASA in my disciplinary. The only thing shown was a screenshot of the picture posted despite me producing printouts of all the documents showing the exchange of comments prior to this post by Mr Moyo within the context of the smack- talk.
It is important to know Mr. Coetzee on his own volition issued a media statement on 7 November 2016 in which he made various statements against me saying that I made racist and slanderous remarks yet the outcome of my disciplinary was not made until 9 November 2016 two days after his released media statement expressing his views and finding me guilty of racism. If that does not show predetermined judgment and bias, nothing does.
I maintain my stance that MMASA is nothing more than a puppet to EFC. This is the fact of how the suspension was handled.
Mr. Coetzee has made various statements on the postponement of the hearing at my request, however, all that was ever requested was the correct information pertaining to the charges which I had been accused of. I have never shirked or avoided the disciplinary or acted dishonestly in my actions.
Mr. Coetzee chooses not to mention that the matter was postponed originally as they refused to give me the information that was requested by my lawyers and denied further my right to have legal representation even though letters were sent well in advance and that they knew of my Attorneys involvement. The Constitution of MMASA which I have had to become familiar with does not even take this into consideration yet MMASA does not seem to mind making the rules up as it goes along to get its desired results.
The outcome which was released two days after the media statement echoes this sentiment. The fact that MMASA unilaterally decided on a charity for the imposed fine to be paid to. At the end of the day my objection is not that this paid to charity but rather that MMASA is a regulatory body so this must surely be taken into account as all fines as I understand are paid to the regulatory body.
Mr. Coetzee trampled on my basic human rights and made a joke out of these proceedings at my expense. MMASA had already delivered my judgement before even delivering me my outcome which is neither just nor fair.
I will be taking this further and should I end up in the highest Courts of the land I will do so to clear my name. MMASA has acted as nothing more than a kangaroo Court and has made up the rules as they go along.
My dispute with EFC is a contractual one now and I will be dealing with this appropriately through my lawyers.
At all stages and despite the remarks that I was suspended by MMASA, I am yet to receive a formal disciplinary notice from MASA nor have I attended a MMASA disciplinary hearing. At best an observer from MMASA attended the hearing which is a full extent of their involvement.
The fact that the statement was made at the hearing that there will disciplinary action against Mr Moyo is a joke. I have no desire to take any action against Elvis as he indicated that he did not wish to lay any complaint against me. My only grievance lies in the fact that all the statements were made prior to 15 September 2016 yet MMASA only now seems to have acquired knowledge of the various social media posts by Mr Moyo.
The only conclusion that I can make is that either MMASA has no concept of how a regulatory body operates alternatively if EFC sees no problem or takes no issue and it is good for their ratings MMASA will just turn a blind eye and not rock the boat.
One point that does cross my mind is that of who benefitted from the EFC hype bonus and the publicity as it was not me and I doubt it was Elvis.as the saying goes “Any publicity is good publicity” and once again the favourite son of EFC Andrew Van Zyl is the champion.
The fact that Mr Coetzee makes such a big deal about my participation on the LFS platform, the primary competitor to EFC, can only leave me wondering who really controls MMA in South Africa and it makes me ask myself besides protecting EFC what does MMASA regulate.
I once again thank all my fans and sponsors and all those who have supported me so far and continue to support me
– Danie Van Heerden