Caf presidential candidate Patrice Motsepe confirms who will run Mamelodi Sundowns
Mamelodi Sundowns will be run by Patrice Motsepe’s oldest son‚ Tlhopie Motsepe‚ as chairman of the club if his father is successful in the Confederation of African Football (Caf) presidential elections on March 12.
Motsepe said the title of president of Sundowns would be “retired” for the duration of his Caf presidency should he win the most votes from the 54 African football association heads at the continental body’s elective congress in Rabat‚ Morocco, in two weeks’ time.
He said his wife‚ Precious Moloi-Motsepe‚ and other two sons‚ Kgosi and Kabelo‚ will have a role to play supporting Thlopie as head of Sundowns.
Dr Rejoice Simelani, executive director of Motsepe’s Ubuntu-Botho Investments and a nonexecutive director of its subsidiary‚ African Rainbow Capital, will be the deputy chairperson. She has been a director of Sundowns and served on the Premier Soccer League (PSL) executive committee.
Less is widely known about Thlopie as the Motsepe family have pointedly kept their family affairs out of the public spotlight. His full name is Thlopane‚ the same as his father’s middle name.
“Let me talk quickly about the question of ‘Sundowns losing me’. Sundowns will never lose me‚” Motsepe said‚ answering questions at the Sandton Convention Centre launch of his 10-point action plan to revive Caf.
“My heart and soul will always be with Mamelodi Sundowns. Why my wife is here‚ and why my children are here is because of the deep‚ deep emotional commitment we have to Mamelodi Sundowns. And I’m talking here not just of the love but also the financial commitment.
“If I’m honoured and privileged to be elected I will have to step aside [at Sundowns]. You can’t have a president who has to introduce all these fundamental changes and then I sit there and Sundowns are playing the Champions League final‚ and the referee makes funny decisions. And they say‚ ‘You see’.
“I’ve got to step away. In our culture, my son [Thlopie] is going to be the new chairman, and his mother will be there‚ and his brothers will be there.
“The jersey of president will be retired until there’s a new president at Caf‚ in which case I will come back.
“Dr Rejoice will be deputy chairman and will be there to back up my son with all the people there like Yogesh [Singh‚ Downs’ general manager]. Of course the key person for me, from a family perspective, is my wife‚ because she has the unique love and also guidance.”
Simelane’s profile on the African Rainbow Minerals website states she “began her career at the University of Swaziland as a lecturer in economics. Between 1998 and 2001‚ she worked at the department of trade and industry as well as National Treasury”.
She also was “a special economics advisor to the premier of Mpumalanga until 2004‚ when she was appointed chief executive of Ubuntu-Botho Investments‚ a position she held until 2016”.
“Other directorships include Sanlam Limited‚ Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club‚ African Rainbow Energy and Power Proprietary Limited.”
She served as “a member of the presidential economic advisory panel under president [Thabo] Mbeki until 2009 and served on the board of the Council for Medical Schemes from 2008 to 2011”.
Sundowns’ media staff‚ reached in Tanzania where the club will meet Algeria’s CR Belouizdad in a Caf Champions League match on Sunday‚ confirmed Thlopie Motsepe‚ not Kgosi‚ as some media reports stated‚ was the son Patrice Motsepe was referring to at Thursday’s press conference.