Township Rollers forward Tumisang Orebonye is being sued by his former club, Gaborone United’s backer Nicholas Zakhem for failing to repay a P100, 000 loan.
This week the 22-year-old star striker’s car – a VW Golf – was attached and will be auctioned off next Saturday (16 March) in Francistown to reimburse the debt.
However, in an exclusive interview with Voice Sport, the Palapye-born player insisted the money was given to him as a signing-on fee.
“I was given a contract to sign on the 12th of December 2017 and the money was deposited into my account. We also agreed that I would be paid P20, 000 monthly salary.”
Six months into his contract, Orebonye maintains GU failed to pay him a single Thebe.
“I went for six months without being paid and when Rollers offered me a job I did not hesitate. Rollers bought me out of contract and GU is bitter because last year December they wanted me back and I refused,” continued the fiery forward, adding he received a letter of demand from Zakhem, which his lawyer responded to.
“I was surprised to receive the court order!” remarked the Popa player.
When reached for comment, Zakhem pointed out he was not part of GU management in 2017 and thus does not understand why Orebonye claims the loan was a signing-on fee.
He said the player came to him asking for a loan to buy a property/piece of land for his family and promised to pay the money back in installments.
“Orebonye decided not to honour the promise. It is not like I enjoy doing this but I need to set an example with him because there are other players who owe me and are not willing to pay. If he is saying it was not a loan why didn’t he dispute the debt in court? He must pay back my money!” fumed the businessman.
When quizzed on the suggestion he was acting out of spite after Orebonye refused to re-sign for Mayogoleele, Zakhem dismissed the striker as an ‘average player’ who was ‘not a loss’ to the club.
It is a comment that could come back to haunt Zakhem, as Orebonye, Jackson Lesole and Kabelo Seakanyeng and a fourth player are said to have engaged a lawyer and intend to sue GU over unpaid salaries.
Ending the interview on an ominous note, Orebonye warned the Money Machine to prepare for ‘war’ over the P120, 000 worth of wages he says they owe him.