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WHAT A DAMP-SQUIB!

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Sports Editor

(At Happy Valley Resort)

 

EZULWINI – Well-organised chaos! This doesn’t tell even half the pitiful story of yesterday’s aborted Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was in totality a damp-squib in bold letters.

Not only was the allocated two hours spent on issues outside the agenda but the business of the day – the election of a new chairman and Executive Committee – did not take place. The meeting was adjourned shortly before 2pm after having started an hour later than the scheduled 10am. 

It will now be held next Saturday with the PLE hoping to convince government to allocate them ‘special’ permission to circumvent the two-hour meeting COVID-19 compliance regulations.

Held on a day when the world celebrated the 43rd anniversary of anti-apartheid activist, Steve Bantu Biko, it was ironic that his immortal words that “the blacks are tired of standing at the touchline to witness a game that they should be playing. They want to do things for themselves and all by themselves,” seemed to have been the driving force of the actions by two unnamed Board of Governors that was a prelude to the AGM. 

 

attracted

Thursday’s shameful events – over the organisation’s financial statements – leading to the AGM which attracted an urgent court order and police investigation, seemed to be a prelude to a meeting which was a sharp contrast to the excellent AGM held by the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) at the same venue on June 28.

The ‘battle’ over financial statements, which is now subject of police investigations, was a side-show that would put even popular telenovela, The Queen or soapies like the iconic Generations: The Legacy to shame.

The issue became the starting point in yesterday’s meeting as tempers flared in particular when Pigg’s Peak Black Swallows chairman Charles Matsebula, in his element, took the podium with a plethora of verbal jabs to the Executive Committee and chairman, Peter ‘Touch’ Magagula. Not even the epic prayer by PLE Chief Operations Officer (COO) Pat Vilakati calling for the heavens to dwell and give ‘anointing’ on the meeting could stop the evident prevailing tension in the room, which was so thick they could have been cut even with a blunt knife. It is also beside the point that a church service by employees of Eswatini National Provident Fund (ENPF) was being held in the adjacent room. They do not say, a plan hatched in hell has no angels as witnesses, for nothing!

Interestingly, chairmanship candidate Mark Carmichael arrived early for the meeting and was in a buoyant mood while a sombre-looking incumbent chairman, Peter ‘Touch’ Magagula, came through at exactly 10:07am walking gingerly as if he had spent a night sparring with Mike Tyson at his prime.

 

devouring

The other chairmanship candidate Sicelo Mkhonta came in an hour and 15 minutes late and by all indications, he seems to be as interested in the head honcho position as a lion craves devouring grass.

The meeting was aborted during discussions on the chairman’s report which was the fourth item of the twelve-agenda meeting. Chairman Magagula sought the counsel of top lawyer and Tinyosi FC representative Sidumo Mdladla, who first stated categorically clear that he came in as a Board of Governor not as a practising attorney, and went on to advise that strict adherence to the COVID-19 regulations on meetings was of paramount importance. 

Top cop and Royal Leopard representative William Ntshalintshali agreed in Toto. 

The meeting was then deferred to next Saturday but if ever there was any doubt about the leadership poverty in the PLE, it was the chaotic meeting which began on a bad footing as minutes of the last AGM could not be read because they were stuck in the erstwhile CEO Simanga Nhleko’s laptop. 

Diversion from the agenda items propelled by the ticketing system issue became the Achilles Heel leading to the elapse of the allocated two hours thus forcing the meeting to be deferred.

Some community meetings on land disputes – minus the brazen gun-toting drama – hold better meetings than the PLE. The next episode of the PLE drama with all the leading casts is on Saturday - same place and same time.

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