More than two years since a heated feud between football heavyweights MTC Premiership chairman Johnny ‘JJD’ Doeseb and business mogul Sidney Martin hogged the headlines, the ugly verbal spat has now taken a dramatic twist.
Martin is dragging Doeseb to the High Court of Namibia for character assassination and defamation.
The former African Stars’ trigger-happy chairman wants Doeseb to man up for his utterances, which he describes as a deliberate attempt to discredit his image, in the process tarnishing his good standing in the community.
Martin is a well-known successful businessman with vast interests in the lucrative fishing industry, and is also a respected commercial farmer producing top of the range beef through his much sought after Brahman breed.
At the centre of the storm is Doeseb’s outburst against Martin’s decision to drag the country’s flagship league (NPL) to court over a dispute between his then club African Stars and the MTC Premiership.
The latter resolved to disarm Stars from all football related activities when the club sought refuge with the court to have their abandoned MTC Premiership clash against Orlando Pirates be replayed in its entirety.
The match was prematurely abandoned as a result of a power outage at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, with Pirates leading 2-0 with eight minutes remaining.
The NPL Disciplinary Committee (DC) ordered the two teams to complete the remaining eight minutes but Stars would have none of that and insisted the match start afresh.
Doeseb did not take kindly to the route taken by the aggrieved party. He unleashed a tirade of accusations against Martin, whom he charged was a disgrace to the progress of Namibian football.
Martin, as the plaintiff, is now seeking compensation and wants N$200 000 plus interest at the rate of 20% per annum from date of judgment to date of the final payment from Doeseb, who is cited as defendant in the court case scheduled for Tuesday, July 19.
Interestingly, several local sports scribes including the author Carlos Kambaekwa (New Era) and Sheefeni Nicodemus (The Namibian) and their colleagues did not escape Martin’s wrath.
The journos are subpoenaed as witnesses for daring to publish Doeseb’s remarks, which were availed via a written press release.