FINALLY, the two Marumo Gallants detained duo Rufus Matsena and Amos Dhlomo [Main Picture] will be released from the Libyan hotel on Sunday, 9 April.

This was confirmed by the International Relations and Cooperation department in a statement issued on Saturday. Their statement follows a meeting they chaired involving all stakeholders on Thursday. Matsena and Dhlomo have been detained at Alfakhama Hotel Suites owned by businessman Dr Ali Elzargha. Dr Elzargha kept the two after an agreement with Gallants owner Abram Sello. This follows their CAF Confederation Cup match on 19 March.


Elzargha also claimed the club owed him over $ 37 000 [R 667 757] from helping them with booking tickets, hotel and buying their playing kit. But Sello has always insisted that the amount was inflated.

Detained Marumo Gallants duo to be released from Libya on Sunday
Marumo Gallants official Rufus Matsena


Sello has now paid 50% to ensure the release of Matsena and Dhlomo who will depart Benghazi on Sunday.

“We have their tickets and are in touch with the chairman and the Ambassador. The club had already paid $17k for accommodation and flight tickets,” said head of diplomacy Clayson Monyela.

“We think it was a case of the owner of the hotel trying to extort money from Marumo Gallants after they had paid what they thought was due to him.

Also read: Marumo Gallants latest on detained officials in Libya

During the mediation, we asked him to send the actual receipts of the procurements of flight tickets which was the matter under dispute. He still inflated the price to $35 000 for 19 players and officials. He demanded 50% to release the two club members. The club paid the 50% yesterday just to secure the release,” they said.

“The rest of the money, as agreed, will be paid within one week. We don’t think it is the end of the story. But we only need to get the two gentlemen to SA and see what can be done about the other 50% which in our and the chairman’s view is extortion. It was not an easy settlement to come to.”