By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Highlanders descended into chaos when two executive committee members were suspended for voting against the renewal of club chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube’s contract, which ended yesterday.
Dube took over from veteran administrator Ndumiso Gumede on a two-year contract and it had appeared as a foregone conclusion that his tenure would be extended, but the executive thought otherwise.
This was apparently against the advice of the Highlanders’ board, which wanted Dube’s mandate renewed.
As a result vice-chairman Modern Ngwenya and secretary-general Israel Moyo were yesterday suspended by the board for allegedly refusing to have Dube’s contract extended.
“We hire and fire, that is part of our mandate as an executive and I can tell you that Dube’s contract has not been renewed.
“We don’t have anyone to replace him yet, but he is no longer the Highlanders head of secretariat and please note, he was not fired, his contract was simply not renewed because we largely felt our expectations of him were not met,” said a member of the executive, who did not want to be named.
The decision not to renew Dube’s contract, however, stunned the board, which summoned club chairman Kenneth Mhlophe to an impromptu meeting yesterday to demand answers.
“The constitution is very clear and if the board feels Dube deserves another chance they should tell us on what basis, but what they are doing now is really interfering with the duties of the executive.
“The human resources committee can recommend, but it does not mean that recommendation can be taken on board. The executive was chosen by the people to run the affairs of the club, not the board,” said another executive committee member.
Chronicle Sport can reveal that Mhlophe was roasted by the board for more than three hours as the “elders” demanded answers on why Dube’s contract was not renewed in accordance with their recommendation.
Efforts to get an official comment from board chairman Luke Mnkandla or board secretary Matthew Sibindi were unsuccessful as their mobile phones were not reachable.
One of the suspended executive committee members, however, said he was shocked by the decision.
“Look, Nhlanhla reports to the executive and the assessment marks carried out by an independent consultant gave him 55 percent when we wanted at least 75 percent and surely that means he did not meet our expectations.
“There are a lot of wrongs that were happening, including creating a prison atmosphere in the office, disrespecting the executive, except the chairman, and fighting with supporters, and we felt that was unbecoming of a chief executive officer.
“Daggers are drawn now and we will see who is going to win,” fumed the suspended executive committee member.
He said they found it absurd that their voting choices were revealed and wondered to whose benefit.
According to sources, some members of the executive wanted to pass a vote of no confidence in club chairman Mhlophe for alleged dereliction of duty. The Chronicle