South Africa News

All the news that hit the headlines regarding South Africa and African Soccer in the past week up to the 29th of August.

The Premier Soccer League has lodged an arbitration on the Mabhuti Khenyeza case. The Mpumalanga Black Aces striker was initially banned for 12 months for spitting at an official while still playing for Ajax Cape Town, in April against Mamelodi Sundowns. Aces though, played him against Kaizer Chiefs in the opening game of the 2013/14 season, and the player later won his appeal against the ban, eventually being fined R50 000, of which R25 000 was suspended for a year. However, it seems the matter just won’t go away as the PSL have now taken it to arbitration, which will be heard in early September.

Andile Jali could make his return in Orlando Pirates’ CAF Champions League clash with Zamalek in Al Gouna on Sunday. Jali left with Bucs’ 18-man squad for Egypt on Tuesday evening, having missed the MTN8 semi-final 1-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs with a bruised thigh this past weekend. Club physiotherapist John Williams confirmed the Bafana Bafana central midfielder is back in contention. Jali, however, could struggle to regain his place in the side owing to Lehlohonolo Masalelsa’s man-of-the match display in the Soweto derby.

Andile Jali
Moroka Swallows striker Edward Manqele caused a stir when he ran onto the pitch against Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday night with a jersey displaying “Mnqele”. The 26-year-old joined Free State Stars in 2011 as Jabulani Edward Manqele and used the same surname during his unsuccessful spell at Mamelodi Sundowns. According to the PSL’s media and broadcasting manager Luxolo September, the player has been registered as ‘Mnqele’ for this season, but Manqele says that his correct surname is Manqele and puts the blame on Home Affairs.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter admits Knowledge Musona is under pressure to live up to expectations following his return from Germany. The Zimbabwean forward scored 20 goals for Chiefs in 35 starts in the 2010/11 season and fans are expecting more of the same, but so far Musona has found the going tough, and in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw against Moroka Swallows he again missed some gilt-edged chances. “I feel sorry for Knowledge a little bit because he’s getting in some great positions but it hasn’t been happening for him. He is under a lot of pressure and he is putting himself under a lot of pressure, I know that. But it will come good for him,” Baxter says.

In the next few weeks the PSL will make an announcement regarding improvements on the Q-Innovation concept which proved popular with local football fans. The initiative, which rewards the top performers each quarter, was introduced by the League last season and won by champions Kaizer Chiefs (twice) as well as Platinum Stars (twice). The Q-Innovation has yet to be launched this campaign but it will be revived shortly, according to the League. “There is no doubt that the Q-Innovation will continue this season,” says the League’s media and broadcasting manager Luxolo September. “But we will be releasing more information at a later stage regarding more details on this new season.”

The issue of Orlando Pirates’ safety in Egypt has come up again as they prepare for their CAF Champions League clash against Zamalek this weekend. Over 1 000 people have been killed in recent political clashes in the north African country, raising fears that Pirates’ safety could be compromised. In light of this, SAFA have been liaising closely with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as they look to continuously gauge the safety and security of South Africa’s representatives in the competition. And the message coming out of these deliberations is that Pirates will be out of harm’s way when they face Zamalek.

Shooz Mekuto
Ajax Cape Town PRO, Shooz Mekuto, lashed out at the Premier Soccer League for their protection of the Johannesburg teams, claiming the League has lost all its credibility. The scathing attack comes after the Urban Warriors saw their League fixture against Orlando Pirates, originally scheduled for August 20, postponed due to Bucs’ MTN8 semi-final fixture against Kaizer Chiefs four days later. The revised date was then moved to August 27, but that was also postponed by the PSL as Pirates were told to travel earlier than expected to Egypt for their CAF Champions League fixture against Zamalek on Sunday.

Ajax Cape Town were crowned champions of the 2013 Engen Knockout Challenge on Sunday afternoon, defeating ASD Cape Town on penalties. The tournament, which took place over the weekend of 23-25 August, was held at the William Herbet Complex and this year’s event celebrated a decade of Engen promoting youth development. Ajax and the African Soccer Development Academy (ASD) were the two favourites to make it through to the final, and they didn’t fail to disappoint. The young Urban Warriors conceded just one goal in the tournament as they saw off the likes of Vasco da Gama, Kuils River and Cape United with relative ease, while the Claremont outfit marched into the final after beating Bishop Lavis on penalties in the semi-finals. An impressive crowd gathered around the field to watch the two Cape teams collide and after a tantalising 0-0 draw, in which ASD did well to absorb Ajax’s constant pressure, the match went straight into penalties. Ajax goalkeeper, Jody February, was the man of the moment when he pulled off two penalty kick saves to lead his team to an eventual 4-3 win.


FIFA have acknowledged the receipt of a complaint from the Football Association of Malawai (FAM) regarding 'racial' comments made by Nigeria's coach Stephen Keshi against their Belgian tactician Tom Saintfiet. Keshi described Saintfiet as “a white dude who should go back to Belgium” on a telephone interview in a TV show. The world football governing body have revealed that they have received an official complaint from the Malawian FA, but have declined to give further comments. The Malawian FA have also admitted sending evidence of the incident to FIFA, insisting they are intent on defending their coach. Malawi coach Tom Saintfiet says he was shocked by Stephen Keshi’s vitriolic reaction to Malawi’s request to have next month’s World Cup qualifier moved from Calabar, and that the Nigeria coach had no right to use the words he did.