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Of muti and Football in Botswana

For a long time now, superstition that muti remains an integral part of the football game has gone unchecked. But recently; the case of one traditional doctor against trouble ridden Mochudi Centre Chiefs, answers in part, that winning football honours is deeply rooted in the most functioning muti than fashionable football philosophies, STAFF WRITER MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE argues.


Molaiemang Nkganetsang, a traditional doctor based in Palapye might have written a new chapter in the football spectrum as he triumphed over Mochudi Centre Chiefs in a court battle, accusing the Kgatleng giants of breaching a contract that he claims helped them win the 2011-12 league title.

While accolades were showered on the then winning coach Madinda Ndlovu, the court documents paint a totally different picture. According to the documents, Nkganetsang’s rituals played a pivotal part in heralding Magosi to the helm of football dominance. In the season 2009-10, the club, after discovering Nkganetsang former Club Chairman Ernest Molome and club official Seatla Pilane consulted the traditional doctor for muti rituals which would turn Chiefs into the envy of other premier league clubs.

At the time, it was agreed that, for each premier league and coca-cola cup game, Nkganetsang should be ready to provide services by way of ritual cleansing and other necessary traditional doctor expertise to enhance Chiefs’ performance.  Still in the same season, an agreement was hatched that Nkganetsang’s services should cover the last 8 games of the season together with Coca- Cola cup games.

Interestingly, the traditional doctor charged a sum of P2000 per league game while charges for the coca cola cup tournament until the semi-final stage were P 4 000. For the final, an amount of P 12 000 was charged. No one, whether inside Chiefs management or outside, can explicitly explain what really transpired in the very same season that, even though muti was expensively purchased, Chiefs’ blood rivals Township Rollers ran riot and won both the league title and the Coca- cola Cup.  More worryingly, it was Rollers led by Rahman Gumbo who humbled Chiefs at the finals of the 2010 Coca Cola cup. Was it because Nkganetsang’s muti failed to pull wonders or Rollers had a better strategy on the day?

Some believe muti can blind a club’s ambition, but what openly stands out is that faith goes a long way in determining whether this muti works or not. Ironically, in the case of Chiefs, large amounts of pulas were splashed on this apparent performance enhancing mixture, but players often times were crying over unpaid salaries.

Meanwhile, the contract between Nkganetsang and Chiefs continued to run, and it was in the 2011-12 season when the works of this traditional doctor- who registered with the United Herbalist Society- began to bear fruits. The Kgatleng giants won the league with 3 games to spare. Their crowning moment was when they demolished the then stubborn Police XI by 3-1, a result that also gave striker Kekaetswe Mara Moloi the golden boot award.

However, monies accrued over the 2009-10 and 2011-12 were never paid to the last thebe. Nkganetsang believed whole heartedly that his works behind Chiefs rise were beyond the shadow of doubt visible. In October 2012, the case entered the Francistown High Court and after 5 long years of waiting, Chiefs was ordered to pay him a total sum of P 87 000.

Now that the case of Magosi has thrown into the open the contrasting powers of muti, it however still remains a debatable subject that the very same mixture can offer a club titles on a silver platter. Locally different kinds of clubs have achieved, but on the international stage they have failed miserably. All in all, muti might be an instrumental piece in winning silverware for a short term plan, but also comes at a hefty price. Magosi now suffers the devastation consequences.

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Kavazovic reveals Rollers plans

26th October 2020
GALABGWE MOYANA AND LEMPONYE TSHIRELETSO

Township Rollers Head Coach, Nikola Kavazovic, has left a note on management’s table addressing the futures of Galabgwe Moyana and Lemponye Tshireletso. The duo had their stay at the club in the spotlight as debate over refreshing the squad raged on.

It is reported that Kavazovic had scheduled talks with the attacking midfielders as he seeks to convince them to stay for one more season at the club. The gaffer wants to turn the club’s pot of gold into silverware one more time.

Moyana had already offered himself to premier league rookies, Masitaoka Football Club.However, Rollers has other experienced players and the expectation is that many titles will still be won.

However, the club has made it known that it wants to traverse a torrid passage of CAF champion’s league, reaching group stages, at the very least.It is in this regard that Kavazovic will wants Moyana and Tshireletso to stay.

He hopes their injury nightmares will be arrested hence they could take leading roles to stir the Rollers ship to victory again.More often than not during the last season, their absence left Rollers struggling.But they too, could struggle to return to full fitness missing the opportunity to drive Rollers back to glory days, alongside the rest of Roller veterans in skipper Maano Ditshupo and Ofentse Nato.

But the team’s insistence and promise to make a loud impact in the coming season is still awaiting confirmation. The duo in particular will have to stand strong otherwise the ambition mirrors a tomorrow that will never come.

Engendered into the multi-million project of Jagdish Shah, the players were recruited to embody the present and future of the club and true to that testament, both have played a pivotal role for Rollers to win more silverware.

The talent of the duo, after reuniting with Kavazovic, should make the case for Rollers to once again make headline impact, particularly in the CAF competition starting next year January. Kavazovic agrees that as a unit they could find an edge as clubs are preparing for a return to the field.

Away from the Rollers stage, both players have won many titles with Mochudi Centre Chiefs and are still loved by their followers.When reached for comment, Rollers media liaison officer, Phempheretlhe Pheto, said there are in fact four players who were supposed to leave the club.

He said all will be decided after talks are completed as each player will face the management about the way forward.“It is not only the two guys, they are about four players whose contracts have expired but each one of them is expected to negotiate with management. Their future will be determined by the outcome of the talks,” he said.

The other two players are Kaone van der Westhuizen who is playing as a left back as well as Bogosi Nfila who was signed to bring goals.

 

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Ramoraka’s situation at TS Galaxy explained

26th October 2020
Lesenya Ramoraka

Botswana international defender, Lesenya Ramoraka’s situation at TS Galaxy has been explained by his agent Tumi Gabonamong.

The 26 year old defender found himself in a tight situation after his club; Highlands Park’s status was bought by renowned football agent Tim Sukazi of TS Galaxy.

The sudden changes meant that some players were to be released by the team to accommodate new recruitments and changes at the club. As the club status was acquired, Ramoraka’s contract at Highlands was left with a year and the club opted to keep him despite spending much time on the side-lines due to injuries.

According to Gabonamong the lanky left back is part of the new TS Galaxy team although he was not included in the team list for this season. As per information gathered, Ramoroka will only be registered with the team in the next transfer window slated for January.

“He is very much still part of the team. He is currently nursing an injury he sustained during the bubble games. He will of course start training end of November or beginning of December. They’ll only register him in the next transfer period, he’s part of the team,” said Gabonamong.

Ramoraka has proven himself since joining the team in 2018 from Orapa United. Lee as Ramoraka is known in football circles has so far played 29 games for the team, netting only once.

“Ramoraka is one of the players that survived the changes at the team, remember the team doesn’t have many left backs and he is a quality player having so far cemented a place in the starting line-up. I believe after his injury he will fight for a place as usual.

That is why the team kept him therefore people shouldn’t worry that he is not registered this season.There is no need to register a player when you know he will be out for some time. It is only advisable for you to offer him more playing time more especially that he is a foreigner this side.

Again, his injury is healing and he will come back sooner than later. The aim is to keep him this side even when he might not renew his contract but chances are he will be with the team for some time because they have shown much value on him,” explained the wife of former Zebras midfielder, Mogogi Gabonamong

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Tshosane vs Sebego: Water under the bridge?

26th October 2020
RECONCILED?Former Zebras Coach Tshosane and former BFA President Sebego

RECONCILED? Former Zebras Coach tshosane and former BFA President Sebego

In the build up to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive Committee elections, former Senior National Team Coach, Stanley Tshosane had threatened to sue presidential aspirant, Tebogo Sebego, after the latter made suggestions on national radio that the performance of the national team was appalling during the former’s tenure.

Tshosane, who claimed reputational damage, said a number allegations made by Sebego were baseless and unfounded. Sources say Tshosane was livid that Sebego tarnished his reputation and integrity when he deposited averments on national broadcasters to the effect that the national team performance had reached its lowest ebb before the appointment of Brighton Peter Butler.

The Englishman came to supplant Tshosane just a year after The Zebras returned from their maiden African Cup of Nations edition of 2012.Tshosane was therefore ready to draw first blood and demanded retraction, further threatening a legal route in the event Sebego did not act as prescribed.

According to sources close the developments, Sebego however demonstrated leadership qualities and apologized, letting bygones be bygones. Sources say the former BFA administrators have smoked a peace pipe especially that Sebego’s ambition of becoming president disappeared a fortnight ago when he lost again to MacLean Letshwiti in a tightly contested election.

The animosity between Tshosane and Sebego first played out in 2013 when Sebego’s administration sacked the former coach, giving one simple explanation that he was failing to inspire the collective belief within the national squad.

It is said that Tshosane never forgave the past administration for firing him especially that he was on sick leave at the time the letter was delivered to him by the then Chief Executive Officer, Keith Masters. Tshosane was fresh from penning a new deal when he was terminated. At the time he sought legal redress claiming prejudice.

It is not yet clear if Tshosane and the BFA administration have ironed out their differences. When his situation grew precarious in 2013, he felt he was sabotaged by the people he trusted.But sources say the Jackalas number 1 born coach now enjoys a healthy relationship with the association and that is why there is talk suggesting his possible return.

Tshosane was not available for comment as his phone rang unanswered while Sebego refused altogether to share details saying; “I cannot respond to allegations, I mean we need to be respected, this is just senseless.”

Stan, who is now over 60 years, was first appointed to the position of Botswana Senior National Team Coach in 2008, following a short spell as caretaker coach. In 2012, he led the Zebras to their first appearance in AFCON 2012 co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

A year later, in October, after BFA new leadership assumed power and he was sacked for failing to re-write his 2012 success football story. Critics then suggested he was only offered the job because the football association could not afford to hire a better reputable “name’’.

Stan had previously been assistant to the Serbian mentor, Veselin Jelušić, as well as English manager, Colwyn Rowe, for the national team.

Whilst working as an assistant for the national team, he had also been manager of the Botswana Defence Force XI (BDF XI) for a lengthy spell. Stan had also played for BDF XI in his glory days as a football player.

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