Lobatse based club, Extension Gunners is divided. The division widens every day as the association heads for their elective congress in the not-so-distant future.
In the mist of everything is the ‘bona fide’ delegate who is supposed to cast a vote on behalf of the troubled club.Two warring factions have therefore emerged and each has their preferred delegate. Interestingly, one representative is believed to be on the side of MacLean Letshwiti while the other is seen to have endeared themselves to Tebogo Sebego’s camp.
As it stands, Gunners is led by Kerekang George who was appointed at a time when one controversial Tariq Babitseng was side-lined. George, according to his backers, is a firm favourite of Letshwiti and this has irked another camp who wants him to be toppled because he is hell-bent on sabotaging them and therefore not representing the wishes of the club.
Owing to the current developments, Gunners, through the other faction, wrote a letter to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership to disregard George as Chairman and Gunners’ delegate. The letter is reported to have been penned down by Babitseng’s influencers who desperately want their preferred representative to vote for Sebego at BFA congress.
Babitseng is Sebego’s blue-eyed boy and it does not surprise many as he is still fighting in his master’s corner, who himself was dethroned by Letshwiti in the lukewarm temperatures of spring 2016.Gunners say BFA should desist from entertaining a representative who was not even voted by the membership.
“We are perplexed to learn that you continue to engage the people that we warned you about the non- compliance of the Chairman and his committee hence our letter to yourself to distance your office from communicating with people that are not members of our society,” the letter reads in part.
It is clear that each vote is instrumental and this is why the club is battling an identity crisis before a proper decision is taken where the vote should go.Babitseng’s rise to Gunners’ chairman position was always met with opposition from day one. He had a weak affair with the association before issues of back biting and militancy erupted within his committee.Before long, he was slapped with suspension on allegation of office abuse.
“With powers vested in it by article 8.1.1 of the Extension Gunners constitution, the board of governors has with immediate effect suspended Mr Tariq Babitseng as Chairman of Extension Gunners pending investigations in respect of P30 000 missing from the club’s account,” the club release said.
It is said the money was an advance fund received by Extension Gunners from Botswana Premier league sometimes in April of 2019.However, Babitseng said the contents of the letter were baseless. He further stated that he was perplexed at the developments that one Boti Tapela was made the acting chairperson.
Tariq was upset that it was the same board that recommended expelling Boti almost two months ago when the Gunners committee failed to reach a truce after similar cases of back biting erupted.“I am surprised by the turn of events; I was out of the country on a business trip only to learn about my suspension. I do not know how the board arrived at the decision but they are meeting soon to set records straight,” Babitseng said at the time.
This is the reason which has led some to believe that the Babitseng camp is out to settle scores. “You are therefore asked to normalise and desist from putting the society into disrepute with your actions, which are hell bent on destabilizing our society,” the letter further states.
The club further warned BFA that they have the right to take necessary action if they do not normalise as instructed within 5 days.
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.
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
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.