Who’s fooling who? Bidvest Wits CEO Fainman denies he approached Mulaudzi

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 24: Players observe a moment of silence at commencement during the Nedbank Cup, Last 16 match between Bidvest Wits and Chippa United at Bidvest Stadium on February 24, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Mystery continues to engulf the sale of Bidvest Wits after outgoing chairman Alan Fainman denied new owner Masala Mulaudzi’s claims that the club was “offered” to the Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC (TTM) boss by Bidvest.

Mulaudzi dropped a bombshell at the weekend when he announced that the Milpark-based club will not celebrate its centenary next year because he has bought its Premiership status along with the players.

The Limpopo businessman shocked the football fraternity further with a declaration that he will relocate the club from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg to the tranquil of Thohoyandou and rename it Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC‚ the moniker of his team that has competed in the GladAfrica Championship.

Mulaudzi had another bolt from the blue during an interview on SABC’s Radio2000 when he revealed that Bidvest Wits never put up a for sale sign on the club‚ but “offered” the franchise to him.

But Fainman told TimesLIVE that Mulaudzi’s claims were false.

“What I can answer clearly is the statement from Mr Mulaudzi that he was given the club. This is totally untrue‚” said Fainman when asked to explain what Mulaudzi meant.

“He [Mulaudzi] gave us an unsolicited offer for the club. We certainly did not give the club away.

“We decided not to run a sales process after we received the unsolicited offer.”

Fainman‚ also CEO of Bidvest Services‚ asserted the deal was made in line with Bidvest’s empowerment aspirations whereby the services‚ trading and distribution company wanted to make sure the club goes to the hands of a black owner.

He said the sale of the club came after Bidvest decided to review their sports-related sponsorships to bring to an end a 15 year long partnership.

Fainman added that the review of sports-related sponsorships does not mean Bidvest will take over from Absa as the Premiership sponsors‚ as has been speculated.

“There’s categorically no truth in us sponsoring the league‚” said Fainman.

Subject to the league’s approval‚ TTM will take over the Premiership status of Bidvest Wits next season and the Venda-based team is poised to participate in the R8-million MTN8 next campaign.

TTM will play out of Thohoyandou Stadium as the oldest existing football club in the Premier Soccer League’s 32 Premier Division and GladAfrica teams has apparently been plunged into oblivion.