Witbank Spurs boss, Sapfu lock horns over sponsored KFC lunch
Witbank Spurs boss Themba Mafu is one angry man and it has nothing to do with the fact that his team is rooted at the bottom of National First Division standings with just a few matches remaining.
Mafu is hopping mad because he feels "humiliated" by the SA Football Players' Union [Safpu] after pictures of Spurs players were posted on social media by the union.
The images show players holding a bucket of fried chicken and two loaves of bread. Safpu claimed in their Twitter post that the players were starving and the union had to sponsor lunch for them, because they haven't been paid for months.
But Mafu is having none of it. "They claim these players haven't been paid for months. Really? That's not true for a start," Mafu reacted.
"None of these guys [from Safpu] spoke to me [on the phone] when they came here [on Wednesday].
"Honestly, it's very disturbing to say the least for me, because I need to be respected. I've never gone anywhere claiming I'm rich," said the businessman.
"But I've done the best that I could for my players. Even the day they were here, we trained twice and when we train twice, we provide meals."
Mafu, who was in Centurion at the time Safpu was in eMalahleni, admitted that he was caught off-guard when he saw the images on social media. He conceded that the players haven't been paid their full salaries for last month.
"It's not months [that they haven't been paid]. The players haven't received their full salaries for March, but they are going to be paid," continued Mafu, who insisted that the players would receive the rest of their salaries before the end of this week.
"I would have appreciated that whoever did this [from Safpu] spoke to me. Are they going to bring another bucket of KFC again so they can feed the players?"
In response, Safpu's deputy secretary-general Taelo Motloung, who can be seen in the images addressing the players, insisted that the union's exposé of what goes on behind the scenes at Spurs was warranted.
"There are players that since they arrived in January have never got full salaries, and there are those who haven't been paid for two months," Motloung hit back.
"There are players who have been kicked out of the places where they are staying. they can't even travel to train, let alone eat.
"Players are starving. It's just that these boys are scared to talk, but we are there for them. I was called by the players and I went there to hear what the issues were. I wasn't there to buy food, but to hear what the problem is.
"We have had enough. I've got SMSes from him [Mafu] promising to pay the players and that hasn't happened."