Statement on the Suspension of Malcom Lethole

Strides Football Club has previously indicated that it was investigating the facts about the suspension of Mr. Malcom Lethole from the Ad Hoc Committee (Task Team) of the Phelindaba Local Football Association (PLFA) on the 24th of January 2024.

On January 26, 2024, the PLFA Secretary released a statement detailing the association’s position on the matter, including the details of the offense, the evidence, and the resources.

In a nutshell, Mr. Lethole is alleged to have committed the following offenses:

  • unauthorized transactions on the bank account of the association between December 27 and January 15 amounting to R3 660,00.
  • an invoice for a Member using unknown bank details.

The club has taken time to discuss the details with Mr. Lethole, and it is satisfied with the explanations from him. Mr. Lethole assures the club that he did not perform the transactions, but by a family member without his knowledge. The club obviously cannot with absolute certainty confirm the accuracy of the information, but it accepts the explanation.

On the matter of the invoice with the incorrect bank account number, the club accepted the explanation that it was a mistake and not an intention to defraud the association.

On both occasions, Strides FC does not claim to have tried and tested facts on the matter, which is why the PLFA’s policies, also referred to by the PLFA Secretary in his statement about disciplinary hearings, become relevant.

Strides FC therefore urges PLFA to start with the disciplinary hearing against Mr. Lethole so that he can be afforded an opportunity to defend himself. The club will respect any disciplinary outcome and, if found guilty, will also accept the sanctions thereof.

Strides FC would like to reaffirm its staunch activism against corruption and high regard for good governance. We believe this is the club’s strength that has been demonstrated over the years, especially in the last decade. The club contributed immensely to stabilizing the finances of the association, including the reduction of unnecessary costs, creating transparency in the finances through proper administration and reporting, and proper controls in the transactions of the association. From 2016 to 2021, the association has not missed a single year without getting its books audited and filing reports with the Department of Social Development to keep the NPO status active.

Strides FC continues to support Mr. Lethole and hopes he learns from this terrible ordeal, as we believe that, regardless of who ultimately performed those transactions, there is definitely culpability on Mr. Lethole’s part. Similarly, the club understands and accepts the anger coming out of PLFA’s Members on this matter and respects their desires and/or decisions to open up a criminal case against Mr. Lethole. It is within their right to do so.

Be that as it may, Strides respects Mr. Lethole’s commitment to pay back the money.

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