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Pirates found guilty of reputational damage but given slap on the wrist

PSL prosecutor Zola Majavu during a press conference. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

PSL prosecutor Zola Majavu during a press conference. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published May 5, 2022

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Cape Town - The Premier Soccer League's Disciplinary Committee (DC) on Thursday ruled that the charges brought against Irvin Khoza's Orlando Pirates were so serious that PSL prosecutor Zola Majavu said in his statement it brought "the PSL, the game, Safa, Caf, Fifa and the sponsors into disrepute”.

Given that all football major stakeholders were mentioned in his statement, it sounded like it was an offence of colossal reputational damage. When Majavu started off by saying Orlando Pirates were fined a monetary amount of R100 000, it sounded justice would be served.

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However, when Majavu carried on reading it turned out that the sentence was mere slap on the wrist. The offence did not cop a monetary fine at all, after Majavu added that the amount of R100,000, is wholly suspended for the period of 12 months on the condition that during the period of suspension, they are not found guilty of the same offence again.

The money the guilty Pirates will part with is the expense for the four sittings when the charge came under scrutiny.

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The DC's decision to mention the PSL, the game, Safa, Caf, Fifa and the sponsors brought home the seriousness of the charge, which was to deny Tim Sukazi, the TS Galaxy FC owner admission to the stadium. Sukazi was armed with the required accreditation, but the Orlando Stadium would not acknowledge the accreditation and, inexplicably, refused him access.

Sukazi who heads up a corporate and commercial company TS Incorporated refused to accept their decision and the burly Galaxy boss tried to barge his way past the security guards. The whole fracas was caught on video and soon after the incident, it went viral. That would have been the time the disgraceful scenes at the PSL Chairman's club would have caused irreparable damage to football.

It was the second time a Galaxy official was singled for rough treatment by Pirates' rogue security staff. Last year Galaxy media official Minenhle Mkhize was smacked in the face by a Pirates security official. Mkhize, a former sports reporter at Independent Media subsequently laid a charge at a police station.

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On Thursday, Mkhize said: "As a club, we are happy that justice has been served. That incident defamed our president and the club.

"It was an embarrassing incident that shouldn't have happened. It brought the game into disrepute and tarnished the image of the league."

Majavu's statement in part reads: ‘The PSL DC found that Bucs brought the game into disrepute” and both parties deliberated on May 3 regarding the sanction, which has now been handed down.

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“Having been found guilty last week, the disciplinary committee considered both parties’ submissions with regard to their appropriate sanctions.

“And the DC ruled as follows: One, Orlando Pirates were fined a monetary amount of R100,000, which is wholly suspended for the period of 12 months on the condition that during the period of suspension, they are not found guilty of the same offence again.

“Two, they were also ordered to pay the cost of the DC hearings for approximately four sittings, and it would be administratively computed by the league and sent to Pirates for payment.

“Third, they were further directed to send a written apology to the league. In that apology, they need to recognise that they have brought the PSL, the game, Safa, Caf, Fifa and the sponsors into disrepute in a manner in which their officials manhandled Mr Sukazi.”

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