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Gloves off in Mafu, Orapa pay dispute

MQONDISI DUBE
Mafu wants Orapa to pay PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Former Orapa United coach, Bongani Mafu has set-up a WhatsApp group in a bid to force his former employers to pay him outstanding dues of P40,000 following his departure last month.

However, Orapa has denied owing the Zimbabwean coach who left the second-placed BTC Premiership side at the end of October. Mafu said the club owes him his October salary, and P20,000 settlement fee.  “My settlement fee was never fully paid, and my agreed net salary was cut. My October salary was withheld,” Mafu told Mmegi Sport yesterday.

“When we met on the last day, Nkape, Ntjidzi, Mazathunya and Tiny (club officials) assured me salaries were already processed. We agreed on a three-month severance payment.

They paid P70,000 and then withheld my salary. I was really annoyed because I was made to sign a document on parting mutually, which was a trick on their part. Nkape called me and said he was waiting for me by Mr Sithole’s office, for me to sign and get my cheque for the agreed three months.

“It was about midday on October 27, and I rushed to Nkape. I found him by the parking lot. He claimed to be rushing somewhere, so he asked me to sign the document, and then go and collect my cheque.  As it was a parting moment, I signed, then went to Sithole’s office, only to find that he was not there. I waited for an hour before Sithole returned. He told me that he was checking with the treasurer in case a bank transfer had been made.

I

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was told the salary and termination fee had been transferred. However, I said if it had been transferred, I should have received a report through my phone,” Mafu narrated. He said he was told that the bank was transferring, and “we shook hands” and Mafu left the office.

He said it turned out that it was a lie that the money was being processed.

Orapa spokesperson, Kabo William denied that the club owes Mafu.

“We don’t owe him. If there is anything he, or his representative will contact us,” William said.

Meanwhile, Mafu said he had to leave as the situation had become untenable at Orapa. After the club hired former Township Rollers assistant, Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote, it was apparent that there would be trouble.

It did not take long, as Mafu accused his number two of attempting to unseat him. “The working environment was no longer palatable, but we were in the right place on the log,” Mafu said.

Mafu is not new to pay disputes, after he battled to have Mochudi Centre Chiefs pay him P200,000 last season, which forced him to leave the club.

Local coaches have faced difficulties with clubs, with Pio Paul, Daniel Nare, Wire Kaelo, Mike Sithole, Tummie Duicker and Charles Mokwadi, forced to seek the intervention of the courts to get their dues.



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