The tug of war continues at Township Rollers. Fresh information WeekendSport has uncovered indicates that sworn enemies, Jagdish Shah and Somerset Gobuiwang are now battling it out in a court of law.
The Indian born tycoon, is suing his former partner for damages and is demanding a heart stopping P 10 881,773. Sources close to Jagdish reveal that on the 23rd of November, Gobuiwang was slapped with a letter of demand by Shah‘s attorneys Salbany and Torto.
The letter, seen by this publication states that Shah had sourced loans amounting to about 11 million pula to finance Rollers FC. Shah now, according to the letter, wants Somerset to be held accountable for all the money incurred by the company they both have an equal 40 percent of shares each in.
“The client, on the strength of the company he had become a share holder in owned Rollers FC and that he had full control of the management and finances of Rollers FC sourced loans totalling P10, 881,773.00 to capitalise the company and inturn Rollers FC, which loans Client (Shah) is personally liable for in the event of failure by the company to settle the same,” reads part of the letter.
Gobuiwang flatly refused to comment and could not be drawn into discussing the contents of the letter despite many attempts by this reporter.
It has also surfaced that Shah is complaining that the loans he had sourced are now liable to him because of the outcome of the court ruling. Sources confirm the contents of the letter that Somerset made false representations that the company (Township Holdings) owns Rollers FC and that he would have control over the management and finances of the company. According to Shah‘s point of view, this has acted to his detriment as he is now finds himself in a position where he is unable to control the direction and growth of Rollers FC. The letter continued to state that “the company, without the all important asset being Rollers FC is effectively a shell that is in no position to pay back loans sourced by Shah (Client) while he managed and controlled the said Rollers FC.”
Gobuiwang was given five working days to effect payment of the damages suffered by Shah.
Can Somerset be sued alone?
When further pursuing the matter, WeekendSport sources indicate that it is impossible for Shah to sue Gobuiwang alone. It surfaces once again that Shah should revisit letters furnished to him by Gobuiwang when they both first met.
Legal minds preferring anonymity say Shah is indirectly suing Township Rollers society because of its decisions to hand the club to Township Holdings. It is noted that Shah should tread carefully as he too, has become party to the company that was consequently barred from running the Gaborone west based giants.
WeekendSport has also intercepted a communiqué that saw the society handing the club to Gobuiwang’s company. The letter that was directed to the then Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Football Association Judge Mookodi says the resolution to transfer the team‘s status follows Annual General meetings held in three consecutive years of 2006,2007 and 2008.
The communiqué in part reads, “This serves to notice the association that the society (Township Rollers Football Club) in its general meetings for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 resolved to transfer its status to Township Holdings. Botswana Football Association is therefore advised that all activities relating to Township Rollers Football Club shall be under the management and total control of the company whose Managing Director is Somerset Gobuiwang.” The letter bears the signature of Khumoyame Masonya who is the club General Secretary and the then chairman of society Spencer Mmui.
The resolution is that on 25th August of 2007 at Ledumang Senior School, the Executive Committee of the team directed to implement the decision adopted in 2006 that the club should be changed from a society into a Private Company. WeekendSport further learnt that the Society‘s Annual General Meeting held on the 17 August 2008 reiterated the authority given to Somerset Gobuiwang to form a private company that will run the affairs of the club.
Shah could not be reached for comment. Those close to him say he has gone for business trips outside Botswana.
Gaborone United was this week crowned 2021/2022 Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions following their 1-0 win over the holders, Jwaneng Galaxy. Thero Setsile’s 13th minute’s goal was enough to seal the league championship, ending 13 years of drought from the Old Naledi outfit.
With two games to go before the top-flight season wraps up, Gaborone United opened a seven points gap to second placed Township Rollers having accumulated 63 points from twenty eight games. The Money machine were the first team to open a new chapter in the history books of Botswana football, when they were crowned the inaugural 2008/09 be Mobile Premiership champions, that came up with P1 million as prize money. Thereafter the club has been on the league drought as it could only manage winning Coca Cola FA Cup in 2012, Mascom top 8 twice in 2013 and 2015. They also won the Orange FA cup last season.
The return of Zackhem as the club financier signaled a new era with a number of galactic signings for the 2021/2022 season. The team brought into their fold big names in local football; Kekaetswe Moloi, Lesego Galenamotlhale and Joel Mogorosi. The arrival of enterprising left wing back Mothusi Johnson, dribbling wizard Mpho Kgaswane and hard tackling midfielder, Lebogang Ditsele made the job easier for the coaches.
Attacker Onkabetse Makgantai also joined the marauding attackers in Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Thero Setsile to make their front line combination the deadliest in the league. Both Kgamanyane and Setsile have netted 34 goals this season with the goal minder Goitseone Phoko keeping 20 clean sheets thus far while conceding just 10 goals. GU is still on the Orange FA Cup race and football commentators believe that they are the favorites looking at the quality of their squad.
As it stands should the Money Machine win all their remaining games, they stand a chance to equal the highest championship winning points record of 76 points which set by Mochudi Center chiefs during the 2007-2008 football season. That record stood for 14 years and Gaborone United could equal that feat should they win their remaining games against Sua Flamingos and struggling Notwane. The Money Machine made the bold statement begging of the 2021/2020 football season when they won 11 games straight games without even conceding a goal.
The Reds, who are under the guidance of Innocent Morapedi, a seasoned coach and his assistant Pontsho Moloi, has been consistent in the title race. In the process, the Old Naledi side has scored 59 goals while conceding the least goals (10 goals) and has a superior goal difference of 49 goals. Gaborone United success breaks Township Rollers and Mochudi Center Chiefs dominance as the only teams to have won the league title more than any other club in the last 13 seasons. GU’s proximity to money and talent were key this season.
Domestically since GU last won the league title, Mochudi Center Chiefs have won it three times; whilst the most decorated football club with 16 titles, Rollers has been dominating the league, winning five titles on the spin in five seasons from 2013-14 to 2018-19. Last season, Jwaneng Galaxy was crowned champions for the very first time due to being at the top of the table when the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the season to be prematurely halted with ten games to play.
After two years of no action across various sports codes including softball, Botswana Softball Association (BSA) is going back to the grounds to resuscitate the sport.
This weekend all roads lead to Selibe Phikwe for the top eight ladies championship. The eight ladies teams comprise the top four ladies teams from the south and north regions. They will then come together and form eight teams and battle it out this weekend at the Phikwe Softball Grounds and Area 2 Mowana Ball Park. The competing ladies teams are Titans, Police, Vikings, UB Giants, Rail giants, Scramblers, Carats and Ghetto Yankees. The champions will be crowned thereafter.
Softball Association Public relations officer, Boingotlo Marope explained that this tournament is not only for ladies, she said men’s championship will be held at Gaborone on the 28th May 2022. She said they have noticed that everything is confined to Gaborone as their headquarters in the southern region. As a result they have decided to take other activities to the northern region as well. “We are trying to grow softball, we don’t want everything to surround Gaborone only which is why the ladies tournament will be held at Selebi Phikwe in the northern region to bring equality.”
However, she explained that the reason they were missing in action is because of Covid 19. “We saw government cautionary trying to protect everyone by putting certain restrictions as spots had to stop for 12 months, we welcomed 12 months to protect Batswana. As a results that lead to the closure as there were no games”.
In addition Marope said they currently don’t have sponsors however private sector has always come through. Bofinet has to cut the sponsorship but that is not due to Covid 19 crisis. “Bofinet has showed commitment, they promised that as soon as they are settled they will come to our door knocking again,” she added.
Marope further said as a results they rely on their tight budget. Few of players has been sponsored, some has to dig from their own pockets, some parents cannot sent their children as some had to quit. “We have worked with our tight budget to assist teams and hoping that in the coming season we can have somebody to assist”.
The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.
In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.
The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.
According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.
He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”
According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.