WHOOWNS Swal­lows?

Dube Birds’ share­hold­ers go to court in a bid to find out

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­press.co.za

Moroka Swal­lows’ mi­nor­ity share­hold­ers have ap­proached the South Gaut­eng High Court to force the club to re­veal who the con­trol­ling stock­hold­ers are.

How­ever, the group, which ac­counts for less than 10% of the shares, had their ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion chal­lenged by Swal­lows chair­per­son Leon Prins and the sec­re­tariat.

The share­hold­ers – Charles Makhubu, Godfrey Gx­owa, Solomon Thela, Themba Kwaza and Sam Maja – have asked PSL chair­per­son Irvin Khoza to in­ter­vene in the mat­ter.

The group’s chair­per­son, Makhubu, said they were now de­mand­ing doc­u­ments de­tail­ing the iden­ti­ties of stake­hold­ers and regis­tered mem­bers.

The mi­nor­ity share­hold­ers put up an un­suc­cess­ful R30 mil­lion of­fer in Au­gust to buy the shares, pre­sum­ably owned by the late Di­eter Bock. Bock, a Ger­man busi­ness­man, died in 2010. Makhubu said Prins had said the of­fer was in­suf­fi­cient. He said: “He asked us to fur­nish them with de­tails of how we would get the money and the backer, with­out re­veal­ing the ex­act cost of the shares. How is it pos­si­ble that a for­eigner can own more than 51% of the club? We be­lieve this is against the PSL con­sti­tu­tion. We want to get to the bot­tom of this mat­ter, even if it means ap­proach­ing the min­is­ter of sport [Fik­ile Mbalula] for help.”

Makhubu said the group had re­ceived a let­ter in Au­gust from a Ger­man law firm, Haber­bosch & Straub Recht­san­wälte, ad­dressed to Khoza, say­ing that Prins had been chief ex­ec­u­tive since 1999 and that all cor­re­spon­dence should be routed through him. Makhubu said the group was will­ing to go to arbitration. Prins said the mat­ter had been thrown out of court with costs and he had noth­ing to hide. He con­firmed that there had been a bid to buy the shares. “They did make an of­fer, but it was not proper. You need to dis­close the source of funds, etc. Theirs was just a let­ter,” said Prins. Mean­while, the coach­ing mu­si­cal chairs con­tin­ues in the PSL. Bloem­fontein Celtic coach Ernst Mid­den­dorp’s job is safe for the mo­ment after he guided the club to two con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries.

He was given three games to turn things around. Phunya Sele Sele thrashed Polok­wane City 5-1 and fol­lowed this up with a morale-boost­ing 2-1 win over the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria.

How­ever, the same can’t be said about Plat­inum Stars’ Al­lan Freese. He is on the verge of be­ing given his march­ing or­ders with the club in free fall.

A loss to Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knock­out com­pe­ti­tion this af­ter­noon could sig­nal the end for the 58-year-old veteran.

Stars have al­ready lost three times to Chiefs this sea­son and another de­feat will not go down well with the man­age­ment of Stars.

Kosta Papić (Polok­wane City) and Steve Barker (Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria) are also tee­ter­ing on the brink.

Ear­lier this sea­son, Cavin John­son was fired by Su­perS­port United and City gave Boe­bie Solomons the boot. The lat­ter has since joined Na­tional First Di­vi­sion side Cape Town All Stars.

Charles Makhubu

Leon Prins

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