Soccer bosses to face probe by police

2018-01-14 06:03

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As if the financial woes facing Platinum Stars are not enough, now the Premier Soccer League club’s bosses are facing a police probe for a litany of alleged financial irregularities.

This follows a complaint lodged with the police by a Rustenburg businessman who has accused bosses, including chairperson Clifford Ramoroa, of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso of the Hawks confirmed the existence of the case docket. “It is a fraud case concerning the club. At this stage we are perusing the complaint and cannot divulge further information.”

Thabo Mokgatle, who tried and failed to buy the club last September, asked police for a full-blown investigation into the clubs’ financial affairs for the past four seasons.

Mokgatle said: “I want justice to be served and for me justice is jail, nothing else.

“As a concerned Mofokeng [an apparent cousin to the Royal Bafokeng King Leruo Molotlegi] and an interested party in the affairs of the club, enough is enough and someone had to do something. These people have messed up the club and they must pay.”

Some of the allegations Mokgatle made to the police include:

• Fraud in the ticketing system which the team uses at its home stadium, Royal Bafokeng, in Phokeng, Rustenburg. “Why has the club ended up in the … state when we give them money?”

• The sale of players by the club. Figures of the transactions were never disclosed. “How many players left for free? That’s why the club is insolvent at the moment because people have messed up.

• Money laundering and racketeering relating to an agreement with Botswana’s Township Rollers for the services of player Mogakolodi Ngele. “I know there is an official at Township Rollers who was fired because of the Ngele deal for manipulating the figures.”

• A players’ agent who has since filed a complaint with the team for not being paid for his services, raising issues that it could have been an “underhand deal that went sour”.

Mokgatle said he would lead the Hawks “to the right direction”.

Although his attempt to buy the club failed, he said: “I’m not motivated by jealousy and there are no sour grapes here. I have accepted that I could not meet their demands and someone else did.

Ramoroa said he did not have any knowledge of the nature and extent of the allegations and the case.

“I am sure the relevant authorities will contact me and explain the nature and extent of the allegations. If they warrant a response, I will do so. It is difficult and would be irresponsible of me to try to respond to allegations that I have not seen,” said Ramoroa.

He said he would not have any problem if there was a probe into the affairs of the club.

“The club is owned by the Royal Bafokeng National Development Trust and has a board of directors. If the shareholder of the board deem it necessary to investigate the affairs of the club, I will cooperate with the process. If there is any legitimate or lawful basis for an investigation, I am sure such an investigation will proceed, whether I like it or not.” He said he did not have any beef with Mokgatle.

He confirmed the club was up for sale and on the brink of being sold. “We have decided to sell because of financial constraints. Let me make one thing clear, the team is up for sale but has not been sold yet. The only time it will be sold is after the PSL Executive has approved its sale.”

Read more on:    saps  |  corruption  |  fraud

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