Gallants chairman breaks silence on Libya kidnappings

Marumo Gallants chairman Abram Sello has broken his silence on the issue of his two employees who have been held captive in Libya for over two weeks.

This after media officer Rufus Matsena and physiotherapist Tebogo Dhlomo, were held hostage by Al Fakhama hotel suite owner Dr Ali Elzargha over financial disputes of about R700 000 following their Caf Confederations Cup match against Libyan outfit Al Akhdar on March 19.

According to a statement released by the club, Gallants executives had a virtual meeting with the South African Football Association (Safa), the Libyan embassy in SA, the SA embassy in Tunisia under the mediation of the South African Department of International Relations (DIRCO) on Thursday.

Matsena, Dhlomo and hotel owner Elzargha were also reportedly in attendance of the meeting.

Sello said has since pleaded with parties involved in the matter to release the two Gallants staff members.

“My people belong at home here in South Africa with their families, especially over the Easter period,” said Sello in a statement.

“Both men are extremely emotional and exhausted and need to return to their homes and loved ones.

“I am trying my utmost to get them back to South African soil. This is an active case and a very sensitive one. My priority is to get my employees back safely. We are not ignoring the media – we must take into account that various factors that influence this matter act accordingly.

“Our sole focus is on bringing our people back home to South Africa. We ask the media to bear with us during this period and understand the fragility of the situation. As we have stated, once the two men are back in the country, we will engage with media and respond to all questions around the situation.”

Talks and processes to settle the matter are currently underway.

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