Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
EXPELLED Highlanders FC executive members, vice-chairman Modern Ngwenya and secretary-general Israel Moyo, will appeal the disciplinary committee’s decision to bar them from holding leadership positions at the club for two years.
The duo, which had been on suspension since May, was found guilty of insubordination and conduct inconsistent with performance of duties as executive members by the disciplinary committee led by Matthew Sibindi.
A year was suspended on condition that they don’t commit acts deemed to be misconduct.
“Modern Ngwenya is hereby suspended from holding any official position within the club structures for a period of two years from the date of this determination. However, he remains a member of the club and is free to attend all club functions and activities.
“One year out of the two years of suspension from club structures is suspended and will be brought to bear if the defendant commits any misconduct within two years. In the event you wish to appeal, you can appeal to the Highlanders Football Club Board of Trustees by 17:00hrs on Monday 8 July 2019, whose decision shall be final in terms of the internal club disciplinary process,” disciplinary committee verdict.
The same sentence and conditions for Ngwenya apply to Moyo’s case.
The charges that led to the pair’s expulsion emanated from the decision by the executive not to renew the contract of chief executive officer, Nhlanhla Dube, when it expired on April 30.
Ngwenya and Moyo voted against a suggestion to escalate the issue to a joint sitting of the executive and the board; a recommendation that had been made by the club’s human resources committee.
Although Ngwenya and Moyo declined to comment on the judgment, saying the matter is “sub judice”, sources close to the pair said the two are working appealing to the club’s board of trustees before the Monday deadline.
The two feel the disciplinary committee erred by kicking them out of office as they were “merely practising their democratic right as elected Highlanders officials.”
During their submissions, the two said the club chairman Kenneth Mhlophe “wilfully” participated in the voting process that led to majority of the executive members deciding against renewal of Dube’s contract.
According to his submissions, Ngwenya’s charges of insubordination came after he held a different view from that of the chairman.
“Voting or holding a different view is not insubordination, it’s simply democratic,” the suspended pair argued.
They also submitted that Mhlophe didn’t challenge the contents of the minutes of the meeting which spelt out that he (Mhlophe) was the one who suggested that the matter be put to a vote.
Ngwenya and Moyo are of the view that decisions made by the executive are “collective” and not individual.
“From the merits that Ngwenya and Moyo submitted, they argued that they acted according to the constitution and now that a decision has been made, they feel there is need to appeal.
“However, they are worried that the same board members who suspended them, are also in the appeals committee and feel the club’s assembly; those who voted them into office at an elective congress; should decide their case,” said the source.
Highlanders are set to hold their mid-season general meeting on July 14.
Should the board of trustees or congress decide to uphold the disciplinary committee’s position, Ngwenya, who is serving his second and last term as vice-chairman after being re-elected at the beginning of this year, and Moyo, who was elected at the beginning of 2018, will not see out their three-year terms. — @ZililoR