TTM chairman Lawrence Mulaudzi has explained their side of the story on why Norman Mapeza refused to sign a contract with the club.
The Zimbabwean gaffer spent a few days with the team but did not take charge of any training session at the SA Premier Soccer League newcomers.
Mapeza said he turned down the contract offer after realising that it was impossible to fine-tune the team to the standard and level of his liking before the season gets underway.
Speaking at a presser on Thursday, Mulaudzi explained their side and said that he tried to persuade the coach to stay and iron out their differences, but he refused.
“Mr Mapeza was in the forefront,” the chairman said, as cited by KickOff.com. “What then happened is that we invited Mr Mapeza to come and join the team.
“Before he came, we sent him the contract after agreeing on the terms and conditions. We sent him the contract when he was still in the neighbouring country.
“We were hoping for Mr Mapeza to hand us the contract on his arrival. So the contract was not forthcoming for quite some time. I then followed up with the CEO [Sello Chokoe] to say, ‘Where is the contract for the coach? We need [work] permits for the coach, we don’t have time.’
“And one of the conditions to appoint him was that he fulfils all the conditions, including a working permit. So the working permit was not coming forth. Apparently, I sent another team to support the CEO or further the investigation of what is really going on.”
Mulaudzi said Mapeza left his hotel without notice, and he tried to convince him to stay at his house in Jo’burg, but the Zimbabwean refused.
The boss added: “The next thing I was surprised when I got a call that Mr Mapeza’s hotel rooms were locked. The management then took a resolution that they are not going to keep Mr Mapeza in these circumstances. I then said, ‘That’s fine, I respect your decision as the manager of the club.’
“I phoned Mr Mapeza. Mr Mapeza was on his way from Tshwane to Johannesburg. I said to Mr Mapeza, ‘What’s going on? Can we try to sit down and resolve this matter?’ Mr Mapeza was going to his sister-in-law in Johannesburg. I said, ‘Mr Mapeza, go and stay in my house somewhere in Joburg, I will deal with this matter the next day.’
“Mr Mapeza he said he’s fine he will go back to his sister-in-law. Then I followed up with Mr Mapeza, and he told me that he was in Zimbabwe. Then I rest my case.
After noting Mapeza will not return, TTM then appointed Joel Masutha as their head coach.
“The answer is that Mr Mapeza is no longer with us. Mr Mapeza, he won’t be with us anytime soon. And Mr Mapeza is history to us. Joel Masutha, one of our own, will take the baton and move forward. I thank you,” Mulaudzi said.