Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A LITANY OF LIES: the full, unbelievable statement from TP Mazembe after their attempt at match-fixing went awfully wrong

Who do you think you're fooling? TP Mazembe president Moise

HERE it is, the full unbelievable statement from TP Mazembe president Moise Ktumbi Chapwe. A litany of lies and misinformation, produced specifically for an international audience and released to the world's media today.

In these nine ridiculous paragraphs, Mr Moise - who stayed at the home of Orlando Pirates chairman Dr Irvin Khoza just two weeks ago - makes a mockery of South Africa and the African Champions League.

In case you live on Uranus, these are the REAL facts the Buccaneers' miraculous progress in Lubumbashi, in the Katanga province, where billionaire Moise is the "elected" governor who constantly wars with the Kishasa government. And if you want further proof, see the video above.

1: The SABC, having paid R2m and organised a series of advertisers for the live broadcast of the tie, had their television and radio journalists mistreated. Their feed was cut off. South Africa - and the rest of the world - received NO LIVE COVERAGE of the game.

2 Three SABC employees, including Veli Mbuli, had their telephones taken and were held against their will. Others, including the SAFA observer, were refused access to electronic media and were unable to pass on information.

3 The Seychellois referee sent off Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi in a laughable incident. The home team were awarded TWO dubious penalties, both saved by Senzo Meyiwa, the hero of the hour.

4 Experienced coach Roger de Sa described the refereeing as "the worst I have seen in 35 years. Disgusting." SAFA head of delegation Elvis Shishana supported De Sa, saying: “It was a terrifying experience. Our lives were at risk.”

But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a scandalous press release? Here's TP Mazembe's view:

Management of TP Mazembe wish to distance itself from reports in the South African media that journalists that travelled to cover this match on Sunday 6th May, 2013 were prevented to carry out their duties.

It must be stated that we are a law-abiding club and that believes in fair play.

All the international journalists that travelled for the match and were duly accredited were ushered into the press tribune were they covered the match unhampered.

The media reports that journalists from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) were arrested after the match are totally unfounded and false.

There is no record of any arrests and the club has also verified these accusations with the South African consular in Katanga province who are not aware of any journalists from South Africa being arrested.

In fact, journalists from SABC even had an interview with the TP Mazembe president on Monday May 6th 2013.

We trust that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) appointed very competent match officials for this match.

We therefore appeal to our brothers and friends from Orlando Pirates to wait for the match commissioners report to address issues that are of a technical nature.

Further, there was no sabotage whatsoever on the part of TP Mazembe for the match not to be screened on SABC.

The truth is that there was a technical fault on the part of the  Congolese television station that was supposed to relay the feed to SABC. As a result, the match was not even on Congolese TV.

TP Mazembe and Orlando Pirates enjoy a very good and warm relationship which also extends to the two countries’people.
Issued by:

Moise Katumbi-Chapwe
President-TP Mazembe

What a character this self-styled "football and mining tycoon" Mr Moise is. Does he really think he can fool South Africans? Given his "close" relationship with Dr Khoza it appears unlikely Pirates will press for action but SAFA – and the SABC – appear determined to see justice done.

This is not, as PSL spokesman Luxulo September suggested to me before my eNCAnews appearance on Monday “an anti-African crusade” it is an attempt clean up the continent’s Champions League and to put people like Moise and CAF president Issa Hayatou in their place.

Will anything be done? Khoza says he’s “waiting for the referee and match commissioner reports” but of course, they are unlikely to do more than provide a whitewash of a corrupt attempt at match-fixing which went horribly wrong.

Sadly, the tough guy who runs South African football has been reduced to the Iron Duck, desperately trying to avoid confrontation with the powerful figures in African football.  He talks not of corruption but the "six star hotel" his players were offered and how football is about "building relationships and making friends".

Rubbish. African football needs to be cleaned up. I've taken incredulous calls from all over the world in the last two days as my earlier blogs collected a combined readership of close to 30,000. Nobody could quite believe what they were reading. Action must be taken to stop a repeat. I doubt anything meaningful will happen on that front.

But no matter what happens, the fact that the Buccaneers lost 1-0 and went through to the group stages 3-2 on aggregate will remain one of the great results of all time. Pity we didn’t get to see it!


  1. Mr Neal at his best...

  2. Great staff mr neal

  3. Thank you for that expose' Mr Neal, I always trust your journalism, you are no amatuer in this! Aluta continua