Amid all manner of speculation and bickering, the crucial and highly-anticipated Annual General Meeting (AGM) for embattled Township Rollers is finally here. It has been a long wait, but this Saturday marks a culmination of what may change the fortunes of the club for good.
As it has happened before when the divided Rollers membership met for a decisive gathering, heavy artillery firecrackers should be expected to characterise the watershed meeting where a new leadership is set to be elected.
At the eye of the proverbial storm is a bitter and well publicised tussle over the soul and ownership of the money spinning football club with a history of over 50 years.
The battle lines were drawn last year when a group led by one of the team’s founding members, Allen Compton and Mookodi Seisa led an insurrection against current Rollers head honcho and business mogul Jagdish Shah who came into the club as an investor. Under Shah the club reached heights never before witnessed in local football.
However, not everyone was pleased with these developments, as a cabal of supporters led by Seisa felt the club was handed to Shah without following proper procedure. Following this, the fight for control at Rollers between the two warring factions ended up in a court of law, in which a judgement favouring Seisa and others was delivered.
The judgement basically stated that Rollers was still a society and not a company, and the Seisa group has all along been displeased that Shah was still calling the shots in the running of the club. Things came to a head this past Saturday at the Molepolole Sport Complex following the biggest upset of the season when Rollers lost to relegation candidates BR Highlanders.
After the profound 2-1 loss at the hands of the Mahalapye outfit, the Rollers debacle took a new twist when supporters called for Seisa’s head, blaming him solely for the poor performance the team showed on the day.
It was apparent that ugly boardroom politics was finally rearing its ugly head on the football pitch. “Come down from there and apologise,” one of the supporters yelled out to Seisa who was sitting amongst some Rollers committee members at the top of the main stands. For his safety, a handful of police officers and security guards quickly went to his rescue to form a protective barricade that impeded the supporters from harming him.
Clad in their Rollers regalia, the seething mob of supporters seemed to grow angrier by the moment. “Seisa was on the radio this morning ranting about how the team should go back to being a society. He is the reason why we lost, as he made it clear on radio that he would rather see the team relegate,” another of the angry supporters shouted.
“We warned him not to show up at the game. We even know where he resides in Gaborone; we will get him,” another voice in the mob prevailed. Speaking in an interview this week, Seisa said he escaped from the sport complex unscathed as security officers later dispersed the angry crowd.
Seisa denied uttering statements to the effect that he would like to see the team relegate. “I simply answered the question of what would happen if the investor suddenly withdrew from the team. I answered the question by saying Rollers would prevail like its moniker which says, ‘Popa Popa ya ipopa.’ I was merely misinterpreted. I love Rollers just as much as other loyal supporters.”
Seisa is hopeful that Rollers peace and harmony will prevail at their weekend AGM where a new committee will be elected. But from experience, it may as well be another of the Rollers’ gatherings where blows may be traded.
The atmosphere, as the AGM nears, is pregnant with violence and it would not be surprising to see the venue teeming with several security officers. The commotion in Molepolole might yet be a microcosm of what is likely to happen this weekend.
Heelang, hands off journalists!
In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.
There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.
That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.
Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.
There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.
Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?
Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.
Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy
Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.
This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.
Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.
The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.
“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.
The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.
Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.
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