How Maketa joined Marumo Gallants


Lebohang Maketa, also known as Sebata, has returned to South Africa to resume his career as a football manager within a professional setup. After parting ways with Free State Stars, where he served as the club’s Public Relations Officer, Maketa briefly ventured into politics in Lesotho.

During the general election on October 7, 2022, he contested the Tsikoane constituency under the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) banner but was unsuccessful. Subsequently, he has transitioned to a role as the Football Manager for the Marumo Gallants.

In an interview with Public Eye‘s Nthako Majoro, Maketa shared the journey that led him to Marumo Gallants and discussed his role and mandate with the club.

Nthako Majoro (NM): Congratulations on your new appointment as Marumo Gallants Football Manager. Can you tell us how you received the offer?

Lebohang Maketa (LM): Thank you. I met with Marumo Gallants’ Chairman, Ditonkana Abram Sello, in Bloemfontein during their match against Royal AM in the DStv Premiership last April. As we chatted, the Chairman became interested in me, expressing a desire for the Marumo Gallants to play their home games in Bloemfontein. I offered to assist in securing a deal with the Free State Premier, Mxolisi Dukwana.

NM: Did the deal with the Free State Premier materialise?

LM: I organised three meetings with the Free State Premier, promising support for Marumo Gallants to have access to playing grounds and facilities in Bloemfontein. However, the deal collapsed when the team was relegated from the Premier League.

NM: Did you join the Marumo Gallants at that point?

LM: No, I was supposed to join them as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in June last year, but the team’s relegation delayed my move. It was only in January this year, during the team’s struggle against relegation, that the chairman asked me to join as Football Manager.

NM: Why the role of Football Manager and not CEO this time?

LM: At our current level, a CEO is not necessary due to budget constraints. If the team were still in the PSL, I would have joined as CEO in June last year.

NM: What is your role and mandate as Marumo Gallants Football Manager?

LM: I am in charge of both the team and the office, coordinating events at both technical and administrative levels. Working closely with Coach Mpho Maleka, our mandate is to help the team avoid relegation and qualify for the playoffs to stand a chance at promotion back to the Premier League.

NM: What challenges do you anticipate in achieving your mandate?

LM: The PSL grant is insufficient at this level, and the league lacks sponsors apart from the Motsepe Foundation. Financial constraints, the team’s current position at the bottom of the log table, and the need for training camps pose significant challenges. Generating revenue is tough, especially without the ability to sell tickets like PSL teams.

NM: Do you believe your previous roles contributed to your return to South Africa and your position with the Marumo Gallants?

LM: Certainly. My experience as General Manager for the African Warriors and Mpumalanga Black Aces, as well as my role as Public Relations Officer for the Free State Stars, played a crucial role. Additionally, my coaching qualifications and football knowledge contributed to securing this opportunity.

NM: You mentioned coaching qualifications. Could you elaborate on your coaching background?

LM: I hold a Diploma in Sports Coaching, Physical Education and Coaching Styles, CAF Training D Licence, and Introduction to First Aid in Football. These qualifications, coupled with my managerial experience, paved the way for my current position as a Football manager.

In essence, Maketa’s journey back to South African football management reflects a blend of administrative expertise, political engagement, and a solid foundation in coaching. His role with the Marumo Gallants presents an opportunity to contribute to the team’s success and navigate the challenges inherent in lower-tier football.

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