John Mitchell has been 'requested' to report for duty at the Golden Lions Rugby Union headquarters in Johannesburg on Friday.
This follows a statement from his management team, the Fordham Company, which claimed Mitchell has been found "not guilty" on all counts of misconduct levelled against him by the GLRU.
Lions CEO Ruben Moggee confirmed to this website that Mitchell has been 'requested' to attend a meeting at GLRU headquarters on Friday, but declined to comment on the Fordham claims - that the coach has been cleared of all charges.
"There will be no comment until after the meeting [on Friday]," was the terse response to a question, if the Fordham statement was accurate.
The latest development in the protracted arbitration saga - which started with Mitchell's suspension in June - came on the same day that former South African Sevens captain Jonathan Mokuena became the first player to publicly speak out against Mitchell.
Mokuena said it will be the "biggest mistake" in the history of South African rugby if Mitchell is reinstated as Lions head coach. The loose forward, who played in almost 30 tournaments on the IRB Sevens World Series and captained South Africa for a season, went on to call the Kiwi a "demon".
However, Mitchell's management team is adamant he can resume his duties at the Lions without any problems.
"With his suspension formally lifted, Mitchell has been requested to return to work as Golden Lions head coach tomorrow [Friday, November 9]," his lawyer Brian Patterson, of Edwards Nathan Sonnenbergs, said in a statement.
Patterson said the GLRU had finally released its full findings and recommendations of the disciplinary chairperson, Peter Bam.
Patterson stressed that no further comment could be made on the subject at this stage, because of legal reasons.
"John is elated with the outcome and feels that his position and reputation as an international coach has been fully vindicated," said his management agency, the Fordham Company.
"He is looking forward to returning to Ellis Park as head coach to assist the Lions to achieve their full potential."
The agency’s Chief Executive, John Fordham, said in the statement that Bam had made a number of "recommendations" relating to the restoring of the working relationships between Mitchell and the GLRU.
"John is committed to working hard together with the GLRU to address these issues going forward," he Fordham said.
Fordham added that Mitchell’s legal representatives and the GLRU’s lawyers Erasmus Inc were engaged in discussions to address the resolution of certain underlying issues that gave rise to the complaints and to discuss Mitchell’s future with the union.
"John is committed to remaining in South Africa and in continuing in his position as head coach of the GLRU," Fordham said, adding: "He’s looking forward to his return to the union tomorrow."
By Jan de Koning
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.