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Lioli fights continue

by Sunday Express
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Moorosi Tsiane

THE ousted Lioli interim committee is determined to stay in power and says it has started making preparations for the 2020/21 season by “extending” former coach Morena Ramorebodi’s contract.

This is despite being ousted at elective congress last month.

Tse Nala’s power struggles date back to early this year when members of the then newly appointed committee voted into office in August last year resigned en masse.

The president, Mokheseng Tekateka, resigned a few months after his election.

Tekateka was followed by two vice presidents; Lehlohonolo Thotanyana and Tšeliso Mou, who left just a few months later while Itumeleng Mpokathe, who took over from Tekateka, followed suit a few weeks later leaving co-opted Lephethasang Hlajoane Lesaoana in charge.

But in July this year, patron Lebohang Thotanyana and chief patron Sempe Gabasheane Masupha, wrote to Lioli’s sponsors and tenants to stop remitting sponsorship funds and rentals because the interim committee had overstayed.

Lesaoana and his allies did not take the move lying down and they approached the courts to interdict Thotanyana and co from interfering in the team’s affairs.

Although Lesaoana and co gave an excuse that the elections were being barred by Covid-19 regulations, the team eventually went for elections last month and Thotanyana was re-elected president, a year after resigning from the post.

Moses Maliehe, who was the president technical in the interim committee, told the Sunday Express on Friday that they were still in office and have renewed Morena Ramorebodi’s contract as the head coach. They gave Ramoreboli a one-year contract. He is expected to work with Freeze Ntene and Motlalepula Mofolo as his assistants.

“We are still in the office, we have always been because we play by the rules and we are not all about this noise from the social media,” Maliehe said.

“We have been making our preparations for the next season and this week we completed the signing of Morena as our head coach and have also roped in Freeze as his assistant. We have also included Motlalepula to work with them although he will also be working with our development team.

“We have already signed Patrick (Nyarko) and Monaheng (Velaphe) while we have also renewed Thato Sefoli and Luciano Matsoso’s contracts. Morena recommended the players.”

Maliehe said they are waiting for their case to be heard by the Berea District Football Association (DIFA) Disciplinary and Protest Committee and will determine the way forward afterwards.

“They went for elections and violated Covid-19 regulations. We have two cases, one with the DISPROCO and the other one with the courts against Thotanyana, Masupha and Hlalele Matobako (Lioli general manager). I think it is only after these two cases have been heard that we will know the way forward.

“We are not idiots. We are just playing by the rules. We have been saying that we don’t have a problem with going for elections but there must be an AGM where we will table our reports before the supporters, then they will point the way forward,” he said.

The Thotanyana faction have also been busy going about their business and have also signed Thomas Tshabalala as their new coach while they recently announced Basia Letuka as their new signing.

But Maliehe concedes that they will be in a fix if the Thotanyana faction wins the case.

“It is just unfortunate that this involves other people lives but to us, only one Lioli committee is eligible to sign players, and that is our committee. So, will not align ourselves with whatever Thotanyana and his allies are doing,” Maliehe said.

Contacted for comment, Thotanyana said they were in control of the situation and even paid players’ salaries for September 2020 on Friday.

“We are very much in charge of the club. We were also negotiating with coach Morena but our discussions were fruitless.

“We have been in the office since our election in August and if indeed there is a pending case before DIFA, then we will wait to be called,” Thotanyana said.


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