The attorneys of former Black Leopards coach, Ivan Minnaert, have launched a scathing attack at Black Leopards chairman, David Thidiela, after the recent arrest of the Belgian.
It was reported earlier this week that the coach, who is now in charge of Rayon Sports in Rwanda, had been arrest with regards to a theft case that was opened up against him. This follows his claims last year that he was hit by a car after he was fired by the club.
MF Jassat Dhlamini Attorneys sent out a lengthy statement to give their side on the matter, claiming that it was ‘an arrest camouflaged as a criminal offence in order to have a breach of contract claim forcefully withdrawn’.
The full statement read as follows:
We confirm that Yvan Minnaert was arrested by the South African Police Services,Polokwane Branch, in Parktown,Johannesburg At the Offices of the Premier Soccer League ,on the 10th April 2018 at 15h45.
The complainant in the matter is Black Leopard Football Club, Previous Employer of the Yvan Minnaert, on an allegation of having stolen a car key of a Nissan Almera, which vehicle Yvan Minnaert used as a company vehicle whilst employed by Black Leopards.
We confirm that Yvan Minnaert was taken to Polokwane Police Station after the police having driven around Gauteng with him for more than three hours.
The arrest was used to intimidate Yvan Minnaert, for him to withdraw the breach of contract claim instituted at the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the Premier Soccer League.
It is common knowledge that David Thidiela is a member of the Executive Committee of the Premier Soccer League and for him to intimidate Yvan Minnaert and initiate an arrest camouflaged as a criminal offence in order to have a breach of contract claim forcefully withdrawn against his club, amount to dictatorship of the highest order and undermines the credibility of the Premier Soccer League and it's legal tribunals.
The owner of Black Leopards and his son Chief Thidiela were at the Polokwane Magistrate Court on the 11th February 2018, firstly demanding to see Yvan Minnaert and when he refused to have a meeting with them, they proceeded to the office of the Senior Public Prosecutor demanding that Yvan Minnaert must not be released on bail.
The manner in which Yvan Minnaert was treated by both the South African Police Services and Mr David Thidiela undermines the principles of equality before the law which we have in our country. A complainant in a criminal case becomes an accused and is arrested and kept in police custody for more than 24 hours, on an instruction from David Thidiela, a civilian who exercises his corrupt powers, at the expense of the state, must be condemned with the content it deserves.
The arrest was done to not only intimidate Yvan Minnaert but to also embarrass him which embarrassment and the consequences are of a psychological nature.
There was discrimination against Yvan Minnaert because he is a foreigner, which is against Section nine of the Constitution of South Africa. The conduct of David Thidiela undermines the principles of South Africa’s foreign policy, in particular the belief that our foreign relations must mirror our deep commitment to the consolidation of a democratic South Africa.
The Siya crew did contact Black Leopards for comment, although hadn’t replied by the time of publishing.