Mujati – ‘Lions knew I was leaving’

Former Lions prop Brian Mujati insists that his previous employers were well aware of his movements, and had been clearly informed that he was not only moving to Cape Town, but also signing with the Stormers.

Mujati was at the centre of controversy when he went ‘AWOL’ two months ago, just before it was discovered that his student visa had expired.

The visa allowed Mujati, a Zimbabwean national, to play professional rugby in South Africa, and the expiration of the document meant that his contract with the Lions was null and void.

The Zimbabwean-born player has only recently resurfaced after it was confirmed on Thursday that he had signed a two-year contract to play for the Stormers and Western Province.

“The Lions were fully aware that I was moving to the Stormers, we had all sorts of lawyer battles,” Mujati revealed in an exclusive interview.

“There was a lot of fighting. I think the only problem the Lions have really was that I left on short notice. That’s all.”

Mujati said that he had chosen to leave the Lions for personal reasons. He said felt that he had not been treated well by the union initially, but that the Lions changed their tune after he had become a marketable asset following his performances in this year’s Super 14 competition.

“I never had the best of times at the Lions,” he said.

“The first couple of years I was there it was very hard for me and I was never treated very well. It was good when I left, but in the beginning it was exteremely difficult and I felt that there was a lot of things they could have done to make it better but they chose not to. So I chose to move.”

The 116-kilogram front row forward said that he was not too disappointed that his move had ruled him out of the Absa Currie Cup Final, as he would probably not have played anyway after a hand injury ended his season in early August.

“The hand is doing okay, it’s still hurting and not quite 100 percent, but it should be fine soon,” he said.

“I’ll be able to play and get back in training within about a month’s time only, so I’d probably have missed the Final anyway. I’m happy for the team though, they trained really hard to get there.

“I’ve got no disagreements with the guys in the side. It’s just a game, ” he added.

Mujati revealed that he had been in Cape Town for some time, and that he was keen to get back into gear with the Stormers.

“I have been here for the last two months,” he said.

By Julia Harris & Gareth Green 365 Digital

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