Political link helps soccer teams score

2012-07-21 17:56

Money set aside for sport development in a struggling North West municipality has been used to fund soccer teams linked to prominent politicians in the province.

A team owned by Klerksdorp-based Matlosana Local Municipality mayor Michael Khauoe received hundreds of thousands of rands in sponsorship while he was the speaker of the Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality.

Khauoe said there was no conflict of interest in his team – then called Real Naughty Boys (RNB) – being funded by the municipality because he had no hand in the decision by Kenneth Kaunda mayor Pinkie Moloi to sponsor the team.

Khauoe became Kenneth Kaunda’s speaker in June 2009, days after the municipality gave his team R100 000.

The soccer team’s disciplinary committee head, Oubuti Chika, was a councillor in the same municipality.

Chika is currently the ANC’s Kenneth Kaunda regional secretary.

Khauoe said: “I never used my position. At that time I did not even work for the municipality.”

Chika could not be reached for comment, but Khauoe said they joined the Kenneth Kaunda municipality at the same time.

Seven months into Khauoe’s term, another donation of R225 000 was paid to his team to help with expenses for the new Vodacom League season.

RNB’s general manager George Morebudi confirmed he wrote the letter asking for additional funding “around September or October” in 2009.

Morebudi said the two amounts were among several the team had received from the municipality.

Moloi defended Khauoe.

“Yes, he was the Speaker, but there is nothing wrong with that. If you have declared your interests then it’s fine. He’s not the person who dealt with the matter – his team managers came to make a presentation to me”.

Khauoe said he had not declared his interest in the soccer team.

“I didn’t think it was necessary to declare because this entity does not make profit. It’s just a soccer team.”

Local ANC politicians were also angry that another team, Digagabi FC, merged with RNB shortly after they both received money from the municipality. Digagabi received R250 000 on the same day that RNB was given R225 000.

Kenneth Kaunda oversees four municipalities struggling to provide basic services to residents.

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