MASERU — The rift that rocked Buddie Premier League club Matlama in the just-ended season deepened this week following the expulsion of three executive committee members.
The once-mighty club announced through a press release that team manager Limpho Tsephe, public relations officer Tsiu Monne and committee member Teboho Tsephe had been relieved of their duties.
Matlama gave a vague reason for firing the trio, with the press statement saying the club’s executive committee was “unable to work in their presence”.
The decision to dismiss them was made at a meeting of the executive committee on June 22, according to the press statement.
Monne immediately rubbished their dismissal as invalid, saying the club had been torn apart by factionalism.
Sources said the development was a culmination of serious power struggles at the club which boasts a record eight premiership titles.
The expelled trio was believed to be behind efforts to boot out club president Thamae Phooko.
When quizzed about what exactly the trio had done, Matlama deputy secretary Moshe Tséhlo remained evasive.
“It seems that the committee was unable to work because of their presence,” Tséhlo said, without elaborating.
“Their vision was different from other executive members’ vision.”
Tséhlo alleged that some of the accused were “selling the team’s merchandise without the executive committee’s approval”.
“Their behaviour continued for more than four months after the committee had tried to talk to them,” he said.
Monne said the press release was full of lies and not official.
“People must not believe that press release because it’s full of lies and is unofficial,” Monne said.
He said they were not aware of their dismissal.
“I do not know that we have been expelled,” he said.
He said Matlama’s executive committee was divided into two factions.
“I am giving you the official statement that the committee is in two halves and we want to call a conference immediately,” he said.
The power struggles have seen Matlama failing to successfully challenge for the Premier League title which they last won in 2003
Last season the team finished fifth.