Bafana Bafana

Bafana stars held 'hostage'

2012-01-16 07:51
Robin Petersen (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana were taken hostage in Equatorial Guinea by hotel staff who refused to release the team until they handed over a huge wad of cash, reports the Sunday World.

GALLERY: Bafana Bafana v Ghana

Shortly after the friendly between hosts Equatorial Guinea and their visitors, the Bafana contingent went to the Plaza del Leroj Hotel in Bata to fetch their luggage and check out.

But, to their surprise and dismay, hotel staff told Bafana Bafana team manager Barney Kujane that they could not leave until $9 000 (about R72 000) had been paid.

The staffers claimed the SAFA party had brought in extra people, more than the hosts had paid for, after the Equatorial Guinea government invited Bafana for the opening of the stadium.

Kujane offered to settle the amount using the SAFA credit card, but the hotel staffers demanded cash.

The "ransom" money could not be paid in cash because the banks were closed, Kujane explained to them.

SAFA CEO Robin Petersen confirms this and says: "This shows that South Africans are not cry-babies.

"I was involved in the resolution talks until about 23:00 (local time).

"We negotiated until we reached an agreement and the money was paid on Monday.

"The embassy volunteered to help, as they always do when Bafana travel abroad."

And help they did.

"Bafana couldn't stay there stay until Monday because we were using a chartered plane that the host government had hired.

"So an embassy official offered to stay in the hotel until Monday, when SAFA was to pay the money," says SAFA communications manager Dominic Chimhavi.

"Before 10:00 (local time) in the morning last Monday SAFA made a cash transaction of the money and the embassy official was released."

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