Fists up in Chiefs’ family feud

2011-10-29 19:40

All is not well in the Kaizer Chiefs family – both on and off the field.

City Press has learnt that football manager Bobby Motaung’s faux pas this week could be a symptom of simmering tension between him and his siblings in the club, as well as an indication of different cliques there.

Bobby’s outburst this week – in which he told members of the Fourth Estate in a press conference at the club’s headquarters in Naturena he was “going nowhere” as this is a “family business” and “I didn’t apply with a CV for the job” – could have been directed at certain people in the club’s management, his half-sister Jessica in particular.

Insiders claim an acrimonious power struggle between the pair has been brewing for some time.

One of the major bones of contention is said to be the fact that Jessica has been elevated to the club’s board of directors while her elder brother is still only the team manager.

This enviable elevation makes Jessica one of the decision-makers while Bobby’s position is that of an employee.

A source within the club told City Press that Bobby’s ranting “was a clear message to certain people”.

During the press briefing Bobby reminded all and sundry: “I was born here at Chiefs.

“It is my home. I’m going nowhere. As for those who dream that Bobby Motaung must step down, that Bobby Motaung must go, it is a dream. Bobby Motaung goes nowhere.

“I’m not elected here. I was not appointed by the ANC or IFP. I will be here as long as this company exists.”
In an interview on Friday, Bobby denied there was a family feud.

“We are a united front and as a family we are together and fine. We are here to serve the people and not our own interests. In terms of the relationship and pressure of work, it is normal that you get criticised at work but it is not a personal attack. Things must not be personalised,” he said.

He said he was just responding to those calling for his head.

“I am straightforward but humble as well, and have great respect. I had to respond to those people and my utterances were not intended to harm or to disrespect anyone.

“I have respect for the supporters and for their contribution towards the team but people must understand I am not here to serve my own interests,” he said.

Jessica referred City Press to the chairperson’s statement in which he apologised to the supporters for the “unfortunate comments”.

“I would like to convey, with great humility, my heartfelt regret and unreserved apologies for the offence these comments have caused to many of our supporters, people who are the heart of Kaizer Chiefs,” read Kaizer Motaung’s statement on the club’s website.

Asked how the family viewed Bobby’s comments, Jessica said: “Let me think about what you are asking me and I will come back to you.” She did not come back as promised.

However, the source said things were not comfortable at the moment. People felt they had to watch their backs and an air of uncertainty prevailed.

“It is clear there is a power struggle at Chiefs and Bobby believes there are people out to get rid of him.

“He was just reminding them that he is going nowhere,” said the insider.

Bobby’s comments were a bitter pill for the club’s multitude of followers, who vented their anger in various media forums.

Some went to the extent of saying they would show their anger by no longer attending Chiefs’ matches.

Yesterday, Motaung senior denied there was a rift in the family, saying Chiefs were bigger than the Motaungs.

“Those speculations are far from the truth. Bobby just got carried away because he was angry, emotional and irrational. His reaction was to do with what was said in the social media, with people calling for his head.

“It has nothing to do with us as a family and with staff internally,” said Motaung senior.

He added that Thursday’s meeting was with coach Vladimir Vermezovic regarding the captaincy issue and said he would be meeting with Bobby tomorrow.

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