Egyptian giant Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane at war with his former PSL club Mamelodi Sundowns over club’s claimed R8m (around $539,080) debt
The cold war between Mamelodi Sundowns and Pitso Mosimane is set to play itself out in the corridors of South Africa’s courts after the ex-coach and his wife rejected the club’s demand to pay back over R8-million agent commission they received from the Brazilians.
Sunday World in May reported that Sundowns had filed papers in the Johannesburg High Court in which they sought a court order to force Pitso Mosimane and Moira Tlhagale Sports Marketing and Management, owned by Mosimane’s wife, Moira Tlhagale, to pay back almost R8-million linked to a R1.5-million salary per month he was receiving from the team.
Mosimane and Tlhagale, who are first respondent and second respondent, this week filed papers in the Joburg High Court in which they are opposing Sundowns’ application.
In the court papers, which also reveal how Africa’s most successful black coach was humiliated before his exit from Chloorkop, Mosimane and Tlhagale plead with the court to dismiss Sundowns’ application with costs.
Relating his ordeal, Mosimane, who snubbed Motsepe after his club beat Kaizer Chiefs to be crowned CAF Champions last Saturday, admitted that he had signed a contract on May 20 last year for him to mentor the team until 2024.
He said during the period between August to September last year, the relationship between him and the club had deteriorated to the extent that it rendered their working relationship intolerable.
He blamed Sundowns and said they were responsible for the breakdown of their relationship because on or about August 22, they sent him a letter demanding that he submit pre and post-match reports before and after every match, instead of once a week as per his contract.
He added that Sundowns sent him another letter on or about September 7 last year, alleging that he had put the club into disrepute for comments he made during his post-match interview on September 5 last year.
Though he did not explain in the papers what the club said he did that constituted bringing it into dispute, we revealed in our previous story that the club was referring to an indirect jibe he made against club official Cedric Moela, who had been quarrelling with him after winning the league.
During the interview, Mosimane said “he had a lot of pressure inside and outside, people doubting me but these boys made it possible for me to look back at those people to say what are you saying now? Look at me now. But it is not about being vindictive.
It’s a message, it’s a football message.” In court papers, Pitso Mosimane said the club hauled him before a disciplinary hearing on or about September 15 last year and forced to apologize for his post-match remarks.
“On or about 16 September 2020, the plaintiff sent an e-mail to the second defendant containing a draft apology, which the second defendant was required to make publicly for the comments referred to in paragraph 6.2,” read the papers.
He said his wife pleaded with Downs to grant him more time to consider the request for an apology, but they rejected her proposal.
“The plaintiff refused to grant the indulgence to the defendants,” read the papers.
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Pitso Mosimane said after a few meetings with Motsepe, his contract was terminated.
“The second defendant raised his concerns with the president of the plaintiff Dr Patrice Motsepe on numerous occasions about the deterioration in the working relationship between the second defendant and the plaintiff. On or about 29 September 2020, the second defendant and the plaintiff, duly represented by Dr Motsepe agreed to mutually terminate the head coach agreement,” read the papers.
Pitso Mosimane said they later issued a statement indicating that Motsepe had approved and supported his resignation.
He said as result he and his wife were not expected to pay back any portion of commission.
“In consequence, the defendants were relieved from repaying any portion of the commission paid to the first defendant under the intermediary agreement.”
“Dr Motsepe agreed to mutually terminate the head coach agreement.”
Pitso Mosimane also said their contract stipulated that if there were disputes arising from the contract, such should be referred to the National Soccer League (NSL) dispute resolution before being taken to court.
“Any dispute, difference or question which may arise at any time hereafter between the parties will be referred to the exclusive jurisdiction of the NSL to be dealt with and determined by arbitration before the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the NSL in accordance with and subject to the then-applicable provisions of the NSL Handbook; or the High Court of South Africa should the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the NSL not have jurisdiction over the dispute or difference or is unable to deal with the dispute or difference for any reason whatsoever.”
Pitso Mosimane said to his shock Downs failed to refer the dispute to the resolution chamber.
“In the premises the above honourable court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate this dispute alternatively the claim is premature. Wherefore the defendants pray that the plaintiff ’s claim be dismissed with costs,” read the papers.
Pitso Mosimane, who spoke to SAfm on Friday, further exposed the tension between him and his erstwhile employer.
Asked whether he is pursuing any South African-based players, he said: “There’s a player that will come from South Africa. It’s not (Thembinkosi) Lorch or (Gaston) Sirino but the player will come. He’s not from my former team because I don’t want to touch those players because they take me to court.