Madidilane, Bantu smoke peace pipe


Mikia Kalati

AFTER what had now seemed a frosty relationship between James Madidilane and the league champions Bantu’s management three weeks ago, the two parties have smoked a peace pipe.

The former South Africa international told the Lesotho Times in an exclusive interview three weeks ago that he was undecided about his future with the Mafeteng outfit.

He indicated that he was split about his future having led the side to his second title in a row.

“One part of me wants to leave the country and another part wants to stay put and go to the CAF Champions League and try to make it past the preliminary round,” Madidilane told the Lesotho Times three weeks ago.

“That is what I am going through. I do not know what to do but come next month I will have an answer. The way things happened at the club are part of the reason that I want to leave. There are instances where management is always going to fail a person.

“There are times when even if it is not about the money you feel people are not appreciative enough of you hard work,” he said.

Unsubstantiated claims at the time also suggested that some of the bosses at the club were reportedly blaming Madidilane for the club’s woes after four of its players were deregistered.

The scandal started when Bantu fielded four more than the five stipulated foreign players in their December 2017 game.

The players, Pheko Molaoa, Phumuha Matsipa, Itumeleng Falene and Khotso Molelengoana were subsequently found to have fraudulently acquired Lesotho identity documents when they were in fact South Africans.

Bantu contested the decision but also lost the appeal while LeFA and the Premier League were tasked by the Disputes and Protests Committee to investigate the matter further.

The side was subsequently docked three points and three goals while the Lesotho Football Association was ordered to deregister the players by the Disputes and Protests Committee.

Bantu recently lost Madidilane’s assistant for the last two seasons, Bob Mafoso, who has now landed in a similar post at Kick4Life.

After the report, the club reportedly hastened to secure their most successful coach in recent seasons to secure his services for the coming season.

Speaking from South Africa this week, Madidilane said they have ironed their differences with the club and said he was happy to continue in his job.

“We had a positive meeting,” Madidilane said.

“All that is left is to implement all that was agreed in the meeting so that I can continue as the coach of the club.”

Although he could not be drawn into details of the meeting. He said he was happy with its outcome.

Madidilane also admitted that he now has a mountain to climb in replacing Mafoso who helped him win back to back league titles with the club in the two years they were in charge of Bantu.

The pair also won the Independence Cup Top 4 tournament this season to make it three trophies in the two seasons that they have been together at Bantu.

“We have not made a decision as yet in terms of the replacement of the assistant coach but we are going to look at the available options.

“It is a huge task due to the exceptional qualities that Ntate Mafoso has but we can only know who the replacement is after we have sat down with the management,” Madidilane said.

A Matšo Matebele are set to represent the country in the CAF Champions League again next year.

They were in the 2017 edition of the tournament knocked out by Swaziland’s Mbabane Swallows on away goal’s rule.

Swallows won the first leg in Maseru 4-2 while Bantu got their revenge in the return match with a 3-1 victory.

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