The feud surrounding Township Rollers Football Club ownership is far from over. It took another twist last week as cracks where crafted in the interim committee, with divisions emerging over the presence of Jagdish Shah at the club. Some within the interim committee want Shah and Somerset Gobuiwang out of the club immediately, accusing them of being in contempt of court. Shah, however, hit hard at those who say he is refusing to handover the running of Rollers to the interim committee. Shah said Township Holdings – the company which has been running the team - has long ceased its operations with Rollers and has handed everything to the interim committee. He, therefore, dismissed the accusations as baseless.
Shah said those who say he is in contempt of court are misinformed individuals pushing their own hidden agenda. “These people are desperate to do something which I do not know. What they are saying is not even the view of the whole interim committee,” said Shah. Last week some disgruntled supporters led by Moookodi Seisa and Ernest Kgaboesele, who are members of the Interim committee, wrote a letter of demand to Shah and Somerset Gobuiwang instructing them to leave the club within seven days. They demanded that the two hand over everything to the committee and leave Rollers.
According to the supporters the two; especially Shah are contemptuous to the court order that instructed that Rollers be run by the society. They feel that Shah and Gobuiwang are unlawfully clinging to Rollers and refusing to handover. Even though these supporters are led by some members of the interim committee, the committee has distanced itself from the said authors of the letter. This was made through a press release signed by the committee’s co-chairperson Walter Kgabung.
The release echoed Shah’s words that he has been roped in personally by the committee to keep helping the team until early next year while they still sort things out. “The letter should not be construed to have been issued by the interim committee and does not represent the position of the interim committee,” read the statement. Shah dismissed contempt of court claims, saying he cannot do anything like that. “I have been given the right to help the club in my personal capacity by the interim committee. So there is no how I can be held in contempt of court. I am a law abiding citizen and I cannot go against the court of law,” he said.
The businessman said what is happening right now is just a temporary setup as per the agreement with the interim committee. The statement from Kgabung also explained that indeed Shah has been roped in, in his personal capacity to keep helping the team from 4th October 2015 until the end of February 2016. However, one of the applicants who wrote to Shah and Gobuiwang said they ask themselves why Kgabung had to release the statement he wrote because the letter was not written to him. The applicant, who preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation, said the letter was written by all the applicants on behalf of Rollers’ supporters who share their sentiments. “Some of the applicants may be members of the interim committee but the letter was written in the capacity of all applicants,” he explained.
He said they wrote the letter because they feel things have not been handed over to the society. “As we speak the society does not have its own bank account and all the proceeds still go to the Township Holdings account,” he pointed out. The applicant said this is despite the interim committee treasurer’s attempts to open one. It looks like it does not rain but pours within the interim committee as divisions keep widening every day. According to the applicant, the committee is divided between those from the society and those who have been working with Township Holdings. He said even the much talked about personal agreement between Shah and the committee was not signed by all members. To further demonstrate the division, the seemingly concerned applicant said there are always quarrels whenever the committee meets as the two sides go at each other all the time. “It looks like some committee members are still serving the interests of the investor and not that of the society,” he said.
There are also fears that Shah want to take back the club using the agreement he has with the interim committee. There are claims that Shah agreed to help the team on conditions, and it is these conditions that may see him coming back after the AGM next year. Asked if at the end of the agreement term he will leave Rollers, Shah suggested this will depend on the committee but said he will not object if it comes to that. Shah and Gobuamang through Township Holdings have been Township Rollers FC’s financiers. Now with the company out of the picture, the interim committee is currently under enormous pressure to look for financiers for the club as the court has declared that Rollers should be rightfully ran by the society.