By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
HIGHLANDERS FC have responded, in a rather strange way, to their former player Mthulisi Maphosa’s demands for $7,000 in signing on fees by demanding to know whether the player has been paying Income Tax.
The club also wants to know how the talented midfielder has dealt or intends to deal with another matter where he was bailed out by a member of the club who advanced him $6,000 to compensate one Isaac Mazambani whom he allegedly stabbed in 2011.
In a letter addressed to Ezra “Tshisa” Sibanda, Maphosa’s manager, Highlanders chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede said:
“Could you kindly ascertain from your client how he dealt with the item (g) under obligations of the player in his contract which relates to Pay as You Earn? Further ascertain from your client how he intends to deal with another matter where he was bailed out by a member of the club who may very well want the club to assist him recoup his money from your client.”
However item (g) in Maphosa’s contract which was seen by Chronicle Sport does not talk of Income Tax.
It instead enjoins the player to make himself available from time to time to the club’s sponsors for reasonable promotional purposes.
Maphosa’s manager, however, reacted angrily to the club’s demands.
“Mthulisi is one of the players captured in the billboard which is erected at the club’s premises. He has, by virtue of wearing the Highlanders kit which has the sponsors’ logo, availed himself for promotional purposes. As for Income Tax, which by the way is under item (h), we have always thought that the obligation to remit tax falls on the employer not the employee,” said Sibanda.
He also said the “loan” advanced to the player had nothing to do with Highlanders as the club was not there when the agreement between the said member and Maphosa was reached.
“As a matter of fact Mthulisi has been paying back the loan in instalments and the reason why we demanded what the club owes him is because his contract and consequently, his salary, expired in December last year. “We want to finish off what the member is owed by Mthulisi because from the onset the club did not want to assist the boy,” said Sibanda.
“We actually gave them the green light to deduct part of the money from Mthulisi’s signing on fee and pay the member but nothing was done. They now want to paint our client with a bad brush but like we said before, Highlanders is our team, we support and love it wholeheartedly without any reservations hence the reason why Mthulisi played for all these years without demanding what was due to him”.
Highlanders owe Maphosa $7,200 broken down as $1,000 which is part of the 2012-13 season signing on fee, $1,200 in 2013 winning bonuses and $5,000 as 2014-15 signing on fees. The Chronicle