Baroka’s Telkom Knockout triumph two months ago was meant to be a big celebration for everyone in Limpopo, but it has left one man from the province bitterly disappointed.
Sowetan can confirm that local businessman Howard Mashaba is still awaiting payment for the bus service that he provided Bakgaga’s supporters for the trip to Port
Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
Baroka beat Orlando Pirates 3-2 on penalties to claim the R4m prize money on December 8.
Mashaba, who owns Xilumani Coaches, said he is owed R570000 for the 10 buses that he provided for the return trip of 2750km from Polokwane to Port Elizabeth.
He claimed that Limpopo’s MEC for sport, arts and culture Thandi Moraka made a commitment over the phone before the trip that her department would foot the bill.
“When I speak to the [MEC’s] office, I don’t get concrete information regarding payment,” Mashaba said.
“The day the arrangements were made, Baroka called the MEC in my presence and she confirmed that the buses can go. So I’m surprised now that there are stories.”
According to Mashaba, the understanding was that the department would pay three days after the final.
This means that payment was expected on December 11.
“So this is the situation I find myself in because they are not paying.
“I spent thousands on this trip,” Mashaba added.
Baroka boss Khurishi Mphahlele downplayed the delay and insisted that the MEC will keep her word.
“With government, you don’t submit [invoices today] and get paid today. They made a commitment to pay him,” Mphahlele commented.
Moraka has also assured Mashaba that everything is on track to settle the bill.