President, members abandon duties
MASERU – Teyateyaneng-based Econet Premier League club, Lioli FC, has been thrown into disarray by the fragmentation of its recently elected executive committee following several administrative wrangles and accusations of theft of team monies.
Public Eye inquiries have revealed that while the management of the team was already mired in internal jostling that led to the departure of long serving president Lebohang Thotanyana late last year, recent allegations that relate to an alleged theft of sponsored team replica jerseys has worsened an already volatile atmosphere at the club.
According to this paper’s findings, an estimated 75 Lioli replica jerseys were handed to some members of the executive committee to sell for the team and to return proceeds, money that has not reached the team’s coffers.
The total amount expected from the entire sale is said to be around M19 000.
Sources close to the developments further reveal that the names of the team’s Communications and Marketing Manager, Tšeliso Lerata and General Manager, Hlalele Matobako, feature prominently in the alleged fleecing of the team and that they since written to the club to give their side of the story – while also indicating intent to resign.
Vice-President-Admin and Finance (VP), Itumeleng Mpokathe, is also on record telling local press the same.
“Lerata is one of those people who are said to have taken the replica jerseys but could not bring back money collected from his sales, while Matobako is one of those who are not attending meetings and is lately not taking calls from the club’s vice president Itumeleng Mpokathe,” the source said.
Information further reveals resultance from these administrative mishaps some of the committee members, including the president Reginald Tekateka do not attend committee meetings, leaving Mpokathe to steer the ship alone.
“Tekateka is often out of the country and he has missed several executive committee meetings, together with the club’s Vice-President-Technical, Lehlohonolo Thotanyana, and other executive committee members,” said the source.
The current situation at Lioli, another source said, has caused Mpokathe unnecessary pressure “so much that he is even contemplating bringing back former president Thotanyana (Lebohang) into the executive to revive the team.”
“Of course we are going to call a special meeting where Thotanyana’s possible come back will be discussed, including the way forward,” said the source.
Thotanyana, according to the source, would this time around serve as the Vice-President and Mpokathe as the president, adding “We want him (Thotanyana) to come back and help Mpokathe.”
Lioli Assistant Communications and Marketing Manager, Motlatsi Mofokeng, confirmed this state of affairs at Lioli but pointed out the return of Thotanyana (Lebohang) to its administration has not been an issue for discussion yet.
“All of these issues you are asking about are true, except for the Thotanyana issue,” said Mofokeng in an interview with Public Eye on Tuesday.
“It could just be something from the rumour-mill with supporters wishing that he should come back, but as a club we don’t have such an arrangement on the table,” he said.
Mofokeng further said all these issues of concern are being dealt with internally.