The cold war between Mamelodi Sundowns and Pitso Mosimane is ready to resume in South Africa's courts after the ex-coach and his wife turned down the club's demand that they pay back a R8-million agent commission they earned from the Brazilians.
In May, the Sunday World reported that Sundowns had filed papers in the Joburg High Court seeking a court order forcing Mosimane and Moira Tlhagale Sports Marketing and Management, which is owned by Mosimane's wife, Moira Tlhagale, to pay back almost R8 million related to an R1.5 million monthly salary he was receiving from the team.
The first respondent and second respondent, Mosimane and Tlhagale, filed papers in the Joburg High Court this week contesting Sundowns' plea.
Mosimane and Tlhagale ask the court to dismiss Sundowns' application with costs, revealing how Africa's most successful black coach was humiliated before his departure from Chloorkop.
Mosimane, who snubbed Motsepe after his club defeated Kaizer Chiefs to win the CAF Champions League on Saturday, admitted that he had signed a contract to coach the squad until 2024 on May 20 last year.
He said that in August and September of last year, his relationship with the club had deteriorated to the point that their working relationship had become untenable.
He accused Sundowns for their breakup, claiming that on or around August 22, they issued him a letter requesting that he provide pre- and post-match reports before and after every match, rather than once a week as required by his contract.
He went on to say that Sundowns issued him another letter on or around September 7 last year, accusing him of bringing the club into disrepute because of comments he made during his post-match interview on September 5th.
We reported in our earlier piece that the club was alluding to an indirect jibe he made at club official Cedric Moela, who had been quarrelling with him since winning the league, albeit he did not clarify in the papers what he did that constituted putting it into dispute.
“He had a lot of pressure inside and outside, people doubting me,” Mosimane said during the interview, “but these lads made it possible for me to look back at those people and say what are you saying now? Take a look at me right now. It's not about vengeance, though.
It's a football message, it's a message.” Mosimane said in court filings that the club summoned him to a disciplinary meeting on or around September 15 last year and compelled him to apologize for his post-match comments.
The plaintiff sent an e-mail to the second defendant on or about September 16, 2020, containing a draft apology, which the second defendant was required to deliver publicly for the comments referred to in paragraph 6.2, according to the papers.
He claimed that his wife appealed with Downs to give him more time to ponder the apologies request, but that they turned down her request.
The papers stated that “the plaintiff declined to offer the defendants the indulgence.”
Mosimane stated his contract was cancelled after a few meetings with Motsepe.
“On several instances, the second defendant expressed his worries to the plaintiff's president, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, regarding the deterioration in the working relationship between the second defendant and the plaintiff. The second defendant and the plaintiff, duly represented by Dr. Motsepe, agreed to amicably terminate the head coach agreement on or about September 29, 2020,” according to the filings.
They later published a statement suggesting that Motsepe had accepted and supported his resignation, according to Mosimane.
As a result, he and his wife were told they wouldn't have to pay back any of the commission.
“As a result, the defendants were absolved of any need to reimburse any portion of the commission given to the first defendant under the intermediary agreement.”
Mosimane further stated that their contract provided that any contract disputes be referred to the National Soccer League (NSL) dispute resolution center before being taken to court.
“Any dispute, difference, or question that may arise between the parties at any time in the future will be referred to the NSL's exclusive jurisdiction to be resolved by arbitration before the NSL's Dispute Resolution Chamber in accordance with and subject to the NSL Handbook's then-applicable provisions;or the High Court of South Africa in the event that the NSL's Disagreement Resolution Chamber lacks jurisdiction over the dispute or difference or is unable to resolve the dispute or difference for any reason.”
Downs neglected to refer the disagreement to the resolution chamber, Mosimane said, much to his surprise.
“In the circumstances, the above-mentioned honorable court lacks authority to decide this disagreement, or the claim is premature. As a result, the defendants ask for the plaintiff's claim to be dismissed with costs,” according to the filings.
Mosimane, who spoke to SAfm on Friday, revealed more about the rift between him and his former boss.
When asked if he is interested in any South African players, he replied, "There is a player who will come from South Africa." The player will arrive, but it will not be (Thembinkosi) Lorch or (Gaston) Sirino. He isn't from my previous squad since I don't want to touch them because they drag me to court.”
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