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Big coup for Mohale’s Hoek



MOHALE’S HOEK – Until last week, Mohale’s Hoek was one of four districts alongside Qacha’s Nek, Mokhotlong and Thaba-Tseka that was without a premiership team and was starved of top-flight football. That drought was set to continue another year after Majantja finished 5th in the A-Division south stream last season.

However, in life things can change in the blink of an eye and when the 2022/23 season begins in a few months’ time, Mohale’s Hoek will not only have a Vodacom Premiership side, but a new first division club as well.

In the Vodacom Premier League, it will be Majantja, the former Lesotho champions who are back in the elite league after buying Kick4Life’s premiership status last week, while All Aces will play in the first division for the first time.

It is a big coup for Mohale’s Hoek which has missed top-flight football since 2019 when Majantja were relegated from the premier league – a far cry from the heydays when Majantja won the league title in 1995 and played in Africa.

The man Mohale’s Hoek has to thank for bringing the fun back to the district is local businessman Cloete Mdlokovana who financed Majantja’s deal to purchase Kick4Life’s Vodacom Premier League status.
In total, Mdlokovana forked out M180 000 and paved the way for All Aces to take their place in the First Division as well.

The transport tycoon has also secured a home venue for both teams with the clubs set to share the Mohale’s Hoek DIFA Ground which will host matches for the first time since it was renovated by the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) last year and had a new artificial turf installed.

That is more good news for Mohale’s Hoek because there had been talk that fellow Vodacom Premier League clubs, Bantu of Mafeteng and Liphakoe of Quthing, would use the Mohale’s Hoek DIFA Ground next season.
Mdlokovana said those rumblings are one of the main reasons why he rummaged through his pockets.

“I saw a beautiful ground; I am a jealous person, in business and also for growth. When somebody does something, do it as well. When I heard Liphakoe and Bantu were going to use (the Mohale’s Hoek DIFA Ground) as their home ground, I wondered about whether Majantja were going to curtain raise for them? That would be an embarrassment for as long as we are still alive, but I didn’t know what to do,” he said.

With so much good already done by Mdlokovana, the next step is to fix Majantja’s management and how the club is run. For starters, Majantja must sort out the management committee because the term of the current committee which negotiated the acquiring of the club’s premiership place has ended.

It is unclear how the club’s structure will be, but Mdlokovana said that although he may not be active in the running of the club, he will likely appoint people to run the club.

“I am a serious person. Majantja, you have been nonsensical for a long time. Majantja is for Mohale’s Hoek,”Mdlokovana said.

“I didn’t play football but I will not watch my money go down the drain, bring your knowledge, let’s sit down and run the team. There must be control. I am busy. I will just put people I trust to run the club.”

Majantja’s lack of stability was brought up during their negotiations with Kick4Life who were concerned about selling their coveted premiership status to a team that may get relegated or be engulfed in internal squabbles.

Kick4Life were adamant Majantja must go back and reorganise themselves and their leadership. Majantja’s secretary general, Katiso Mohlalisi, said this is their chance to do things right.

He narrated their problems which include a constitution that was drawn up in a hurry to meet LEFA’s club licensing requirements but reflects a society or stokvel more than a football club.

“When we were signing the sale agreement it should have had Kick4Life and Majantja’s logos with their colours, but when Majantja’s logo was placed it wasn’t clear. That was one of the things they said we must correct,” Mohlalisi stated that as an example of Majantja’s current unprofessionalism.

“Let’s reform the club, let’s start by taking membership,” Mohlalisi added.

“We are governed by society’s constitution right now; I want to ask: how many societies do you know that never fight at the end of the year? There are many. We are far behind in terms of administration.”

All Aces president Lethusang Ntšekalle addressed the issues facing the district’s football growth and how Mohale’s Hoek has been overtaken by other districts. While he could not stop thanking Mdlokovana, Ntšekalle said ignorance and arrogance have seen Mohale’s Hoek linger behind others.

He said it is only through a real love for football that the district can catch up and once again compete for silverware.

“I am worried that football in Mohale’s Hoek does not grow. We have been to the (promotion) playoffs and lost. I don’t know what the problem is but I think the main problem is that we do not have love for football. We can’t go forward if we do not love football,” Ntšekalle said.

“It is only in this district that football isn’t growing. Is it because we don’t know how to run football? I think it is (because of) arrogance. We cannot let our sponsors down because we may never get an opportunity like this again.”

Tlalane Phahla

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