Friday, June 18, 2021

Police XI manager denies role in Letlamoreng’s suspension

Police XI manager Jonas Basupi has dismissed allegations purporting that he has “beef” with suspended assistant coach Junior Letlamoreng. Letlamoreng was controversially slapped with indefinite suspension by head coach Maxwell Moyo last week following their 4-2 loss to Township Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 quarterfinal first leg match played at the National Stadium on October 31st. 

Interestingly, Letlamoreng was suspended alongside other assistant coaches in Summer Ncube and Ndiyapo Letsholathebe but the duo has since returned to training. They sat on the bench when Police XI lost 1-0 to Rollers in the beMOBILE Premiership match which was played at Molepolole Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. Letlamoreng was a lonely figure having to watch the game from the stands. 

While it is alleged that the suspension has been influenced by the insubordination on the part of Letlamoreng, a source revealed to this publication that it is Basupi who planned the whole thing. “Basupi has never rated Junior and this suspension has long been coming. They don’t have a good working relationship and unfortunately there is nothing Junior can do because Basupi is superior in the force. It is the same man (Basupi) who ensured that Police XI bring Moyo here despite the fact that the team did well to finish in the top 8 bracket last season under the mentorship of Junior. Unfortunately the chairman (Solomon Mantswe) and other people here do not see that Basupi is going to kill this team with his leadership style,” said a source at the police camp. 

When contacted for comment, Basupi said that it was not true that he played a role in Letlamoreng’s suspension. He said after the Top 8 clash, there was a post-mortem where Moyo and Letlamoreng had a misunderstanding. “The coach told me that he’s not working well with Letlamoreng. I did ask him to give us direction on what needs to be done and he said it was best to suspend him until the executive committee sits them down. As the manager I had to respect what Moyo suggested. It is just a temporary measure and I want to believe that it will be sorted out,” said Basupi. 

He also pointed out that at the end of last season he recommend the team to look elsewhere for an experienced coach to work alongside Letlamoreng. “My reasons were purely based on results. Yes, I did recommend and the executive committee agreed with me. So it’s not like I’m the one who just decided to demote him. There was an agreement that Letlamoreng will go and further his coaching skills abroad. He would then come back to understudy Moyo until the latter’s contract comes to an end,” Basupi added. 

Police XI chairman Solomon Mantswe confirmed that he has been briefed about Letlamoreng’s suspension. “I’m away on leave but I’ll have to come back to sort out the matter. It is not good for the image of the club. There are so many complications in this matter but I want to believe that we’ll sort them out before our next match,” said Mantswe.

Moyo joined the Jungle Kings at the beginning of the season from Orapa United where he guided the unfashionable club to the second spot. 

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper