Pitso pulls out all stops as contract battle goes down to the wire

Pitso Mosimane and his wife Moira Tlhagale are fighting like centurions in a bloodletting battle after they subpoenaed Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena and his assistant Manqoba Mngqithi to appear in the Johannesburg High Court to reveal the terms and conditions of their contracts.

Mosimane and Tlhagale have also subpoenaed Mokwena’s agent, Steve Kapeluschnik, and Mngqithi’s agent, Mike Makaab, to testify about the contracts of their clients.

The subpoenaed parties have been threatened with a jail sentence or a fine if they fail to comply with the orders.

The subpoenas, which Sunday World has seen, were issued by Mosimane and Tlhagale’s attorneys of record, Mabuza Attorneys, between May 15 and 17 this year.

Mokwena and Mngqithi’s subpoenas were signed by the Johannesburg High Court registrar on May 17.

They were then sent to the sheriff of Kempton Park and Tembisa, or his or her deputy, to take them to the duo’s workplace and Mamelodi Sundowns headquarters in Chloorkop, on the East Rand.

Makaab’s subpoena was signed on May 15 and then sent to the Inanda sheriff or their deputy in KwaZulu-Natal to deliver it to his residence in Durban.

Kapeluschnik’s subpoena was also signed on May 15 and sent to the Sandton sheriff, or his or her deputy, to deliver it to his home in Melrose Arch, northern Joburg.

Before the four could be subpoenaed, the lawyers summoned the club’s former president, Patrice Motsepe, who is also the Confederation of African Football president, to appear before court to testify in the matter.

Motsepe was supposed to have testified last month but did not appear in court after his lawyers made representations for him not to do so.

The club, which is the plaintiff in this matter, is suing Mosimane and his wife’s company, cited as the second and first respondents, respectively.

This was after they refused to comply with the club’s demand to pay back at least R8-million they received in commission.

Mosimane left the club before the end of his contract, following a fallout with Motsepe in 2020.

The club said the quantum was for the 44 months that Mosimane was supposed to have spent coaching the team, but instead, he left to join Egyptian outfit Al Ahly.

The PSL club cited the clause in the contract that Mosimane signed. It stipulated that Tlhagale’s company should pay back the commission if Mosimane left the club before the lapse of his contract.

Although it was not stated in the subpoenas why they wanted Mokwena and Mngqithi’s contracts, Sunday World has it on good authority that Tlhagale and Mosimane want to prove that she was treated unfairly because of her gender and race.

Those close to the case said Tlhagale strongly believes that there is no punitive clause in Mokwena and Mngqithi’s contracts, which stipulate that if they leave the club, their agents must pay back the commission to the club.

“She wants copies of Mokwena and Mngqithi’s contracts at the time they were her husband’s assistants,” said the source, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation.

Moira also claims that Sundowns didn’t pay her any commission when her husband signed his first contract with the club.

The mole said Sundowns allegedly told her it was “a family affair”, and she was treated as Mosimane’s spouse and not as a sports agent.

“The bone of contention here is that Moira [Tlhagale] pushed Sundowns so hard to increase Pitso’s salary.

“The club wanted to pay only R1-million per month, but she eventually pushed them to pay R1.5-million per month. But he left Sundowns four months later for Al Ahly after their settled salary negotiations.

“Sundowns believe that Moira [Tlhagale] negotiated in bad faith because she knew that she was also negotiating with Al Ahly behind the scenes and used Pitso’s new salary to get more money from Al Ahly for herself and her husband,” said the deep throat.

Mosimane and Tlhagale also argued that the clause in the contract called the “head coach agreement” was unconstitutional and unenforceable.

They further argued that the clause provided for the repayment of the commission paid to his wife’s company, even though Mosimane was not a party to the payment agreement.

Mosimane and the entity further argued that the clause was unenforceable and unconstitutional because it made the repayment of the commission due by his wife in circumstances where he terminates his contract to which she is not a party.

Sundowns disputed Mosimane and the entity’s claims, arguing the company was the coach’s agent.

They said Mosimane also voluntarily agreed to be liable for the commission in the event he failed to fulfil the terms of the contract.

Sundowns also said there was nothing unreasonable about their demand because they had expected the contract to run to its full term.

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