Local News - Issue 196

Majoro Officially Signs For Pirates
Orlando Pirates have announced they have signed Lehlohonolo Majoro. Bucs released a statement on their website, which said: "Orlando Pirates Football Club would like to confirm the signing of Lehlohonolo Majoro."Majoro joins the Mighty Buccaneers after the club received a DRC order declaring him a free agent. He needs to train with the club before he starts playing," says Pirates’ official Floyd Mbele. Majoro parted ways with Kaizer Chiefs on the weekend after taking Amakhosi to the Dispute Resolution Chamber to get his clearance from the club.

Orlando Pirates defender Siyabonga Sangweni has returned to training after more than four months on the sidelines. ‘Ntsimbi’ tore his Achilles tendon on October 8 in the Bucs’ Telkom Knockout Cup victory over Mpumalanga Black Aces, but now the 32-year-old has recovered enough to get involved at training. Sangweni was at training on Friday and completed a full session on Monday. However, he is far from fully fit to play in a competitive match.

Mamelodi Sundowns have confirmed Katlego Mashego will be sidelined for at least six weeks with a groin injury. Mashego sustained the knock when shooting seven minutes into a 1-0 win over Ajax Cape Town in the Nedbank Cup this past Friday. 'Mahoota' was stretchered off, with his replacement Rodney Ramagalela going on to score a superb 60th minute winner at Athlone Stadium. - Full Story via Kickoff

Tim Sukazi says he will take Lehlohonolo Majoro to court. Majoro, who has been released by Kaizer Chiefs following a Dispute Resolution Chamber outcome on Saturday, allegedly didn’t involve Sukazi in negotiating his deal with Orlando Pirates – and Sukazi is not taking the matter lying down. As it stands, Majoro can join Pirates earlier than expected because he is considered a free agent as he is out of contract after parting ways with Chiefs. - Full Story via Kickoff Nigeria

Katlego Mphela explains why he signed for Kaizer Chiefs. ‘Killer’ left Sundowns for Chiefs, but many question whether the Bafana Bafana striker can still do the business. In an in-depth interview, he reveals the reasons why he decided to make the switch to Naturena and how the deal went down. - Full Story via Kickoff Nigeria

Ajax Cape Town have confirmed the appointment of Roger de Sa as their head coach, with the former Orlando Pirates mentor penning a contract at Ikamva which will expire in 2016. De Sa said he was awaiting word from the club regarding his application for the job. - Full Story via Kickoff

Nedbank Cup results: Free State Stars was the only surprise casualty from the South African top-flight in the Last 32 of the Nedbank Cup played this weekend.

Friday 21 February
Ajax Cape Town 0-1 Mamelodi Sundowns
Saturday 22 February
Maritzburg United 2-1 Black Aces (Extra-time)
University of Pretoria 0-1 SuperSport United (Extra-time)
Moroka Swallows 4-3 Mbombela United (Extra-time)
Golden Arrows 1-0 Polokwane City
Free State Stars 0-1 Witbank Spurs
Platinum Stars 3-1 Great North FC
AmaBEE FC 0-2 Bidvest Wits
Thanda Royal Zulu 3-3 (Pirates win 3-1 on penalties)
Sunday 23 February
Black Leopards 0-1 Kaizer Chiefs (Extra-time)
United FC 0-2 AmaZulu
Milano United 1-1 Young Tigers (Milano win 5-4 on penalties)
Mainstay United 3-8 African Warriors

Ajax Cape Town will have to look for a new sponsor for next season after MTN announced they would not renew their current sponsorship deal, which expires in June. MTN, who also once endorsed Golden Arrows, confirmed the news in a statement, released on Saturday."As a normal business practice, MTN embarks on a review of its sponsorship portfolio," said Brian Gouldie, the chief marketing officer at MTN SA. - Full Story via Kickoff

Nigeria Premier League club Enugu Rangers have stated they are not aware Ejike Uzoenyi has joined South African club Mamelodi Sundowns. Sundowns last Thursday announced they have signed the left-winger on a four-year deal effective from June. However, media officer of the Enugu side Foster Chime insisted the club were not aware of any deal for their player. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker has been named the Best Player for Q1 and Q2. Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane won the Best Coach of Q1 award, while Stuart Baxter was awarded the gong for Q2 owing to Amakhosi’s brilliant run of nine consecutive victories. - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Bidvest Wits and Mpumalanga Black Aces goalkeeper Eduan Naude has opted for a career in player management after retiring from football. After being released by the Clever Boys a few seasons ago, the 26-year-old signed a contract with Aces. However, he again failed to receive regular game-time although he was part of the team that won the promotional play-offs to the PSL. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns have a grand total of 18 foreigners on their books, and next season will have difficulties in terms of allocating their five spots for players from abroad. But seven of the 18 hold permanent South African residency, and that includes club captain Alje Schut and Glenn Verbauwhede, who both qualified through the controversial financial independence loophole. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Khama Billiat believes they will have no excuse to finish without any silverware this season. Sundowns will be looking to end their six-year cup drought. The Brazilians have not won anything since May 2008, with their last trophy coming from this very same tournament during its first year under the banking group’s sponsorship. Downs are still firmly in the race for the league. - Full Story via Kickoff

In-form Kaizer Chiefs have been confirmed as the Q3 log leaders, but as many as five teams look set to give them a run for their money. In the latest update from the PSL, the Phefeni Glamour Boys, who won Q2, top Q3 with 10 points from four matches, while SuperSport United and AmaZulu are in second and third place respectively. Mamelodi Sundowns, who won Q1, are not far off the pace despite playing only two matches in Q3. - Full Story via Kickoff

Premier Soccer League strugglers Golden Arrows have denied holding any talks with Clinton Larsen, who is rumoured to be joining the club. Abafana Bes’thende parted ways with Mark Harrison recently, with Shaun Bartlett and Bheka Phakathi taking over as joint-caretaker coaches. And according to Arrows spokesperson Vusimuzi Vilakazi, the pair will stay on until the end of the season. “There is no such thing,” Vilakazi responds when quizzed over Larsen. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane says his decision to bring in Manqoba Mngqithi as his assistant was motivated by his belief in working with people who are not weak. Mngqithi has worked as a head coach since 2007 with spells at Golden Arrows, AmaZulu and Chippa but has now moved down the ladder in joining Sundowns to become second in charge to Mosimane. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Clive Barker has sung the praises of Themba Zwane, saying he is the best player he has ever coached. The midfielder is on loan at Amazayoni from Mamelodi Sundowns, and Aces are desperate to make his deal a permanent one following some standout performances in recent wins against Maritzburg United and AmaZulu. Former Bafana Bafana coach Barker says Zwane is an exceptional talent who should be a regular for the national team. - Full Story via Kickoff

Thanda Royal Zulu have parted ways with former Kaizer Chiefs striker David Radebe. The 34-year-old, who also played for Moroka Swallows and University of Pretoria, spent less than four months at the struggling National First Division club. “He is no longer our player after his contract was terminated,” said Amabhubesi manager Thabang Gumede. - Full Story via Kickoff Nigeria

Free State Stars midfielder Luyolo Nomandela has signed for Mamelodi Sundowns on a three-year deal. The skilful midfielder has always been on Sundowns' radar and last week Sundowns official Yogesh Singh was in the Free State to conclude the deal. - Full Story via Kickoff

Orlando Pirates are weighing up the success of a shoulder operation on Rooi Mahamutsa after the defender complained of discomfort during his light training sessions last week. Mahamutsa is hoping to bounce back to competitive action as soon as possible but this will depend on the progress he shows on the training field. “As you know, Rooi had an operation on his shoulder. He is still experiencing a lot of discomfort and it is therefore impossible to say when exactly he will be 100% fit,” says Pirates spokesman Mickey Modisane. - Full Story via Kickoff

SuperSport United have completed the signing of the 6ft Zimbabwe international goalkeeper George Chigova on a three-year deal. The 22-year-old joins Matsatsantsa from Zimbabwe top-flight side Dynamos and will join the team at the start of next season. Chigova was courted by several European and South African teams after impressing with the Zimbabwe national team during the recent CHAN tournament in South Africa. Since making the Warriors national team he has conceded only three goals in seven matches. - Full Story via Kickoff

Moroka Swallows winger Dikgang ‘Terminator’ Mabalane has joined an exclusive group of PSL footballers with 300 starts in domestic football. Mabalane's appearance in the 4-3 Nedbank Cup victory over third-tier side Mbombela United over the weekend brought up a triple century of starts in domestic football in a professional career entirely spent in the PSL and spanning 14 years. - Full Story via Kickoff

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Fatau Dauda and Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rashid Sumaila have been dropped by Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah for an upcoming friendly with Montenegro. Dauda's inactivity at Bucs has prompted Appiah to look to Aduana Stars' Stephen Adam, who impressed in the recent African Nations Championship, and Norway-based Adam Kwarasey as his options in goal. - Full Story via Kickoff

It is growing increasingly unlikely that Thulani Serero will make his national team comeback against Brazil next week. Serero limped out of Ajax Amsterdam’s 3-0 win over Heerenveen on February 16 with a groin strain and has again been left out of the club’s squad for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League clash at Red Bull Salzburg. - Full Story via Kickoff

Thabo Nthethe says the presence of Bafana Bafana team-mates and the influence of captain Alje Schut has been vital in helping him settle at Mamelodi Sundowns. The 29-year-old has slotted in nicely at Chloorkop, helping the club to nine points in the three league games he has played as well as victory against Ajax Cape Town in the Nedbank Cup. “It has been easy to settle because I have played with some of the players here in the national team,” says Nthethe, whose move was completed in transfer deadline day. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs’ teenage striker Sakhile Hlongwa is back with the club’s reserve team following the premature ending of his loan spell at Thanda Royal Zulu. Hlongwa was signed by Chiefs at the beginning of last season but struggled to break into the first team. He was therefore farmed out to Thanda in the hope of securing game-time, with the deal meant to expire in June. - Full Story via Kickoff

AmaZulu midfielder Njabulo Manqana is expected to sign a new contract with the club, which will keep him in Durban for at least another two years. According to a source, Manqana, who attracted interest from Bidvest Wits in January, has agreed to fresh terms with Usuthu. “Njabulo is certainly staying at AmaZulu though his new deal is not completed as yet,” says the source. - Full Story via Kickoff

SA players abroad round-up: Youngster Lebogang Phiri came off the bench to help his Danish side Brondby salvage a 2-2 draw against second placed Aalborg in the first game after the winter break on Sunday.
Andile Jali made his first start for Belgian side KV Oostende on Saturday as they came from behind to defeat Lierse 3-2. Jali’s other two appearances for the side had both come off the bench.
Darren Keet was on the losing side as his Kortrijk club were stunned 2-1 at home by bottom side Mons, who claimed a rare win this season with a 94th-minute goal.
Anele Ngcongca was again on the bench for Genk as they lost 2-0 at home to Waasland-Beveren, his place in the starting XI now seemingly under threat.
Kagisho Dikgacoi was an unused substitute for Crystal Palace as they lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United in the English Premiership, while Steven Pienaar played 80 minutes for Everton in their 1-0 loss at Chelsea.
Tokelo Rantie was a substitute just before the hour-mark in Bournemouth’s 1-0 loss at Derby County in the English Championship, while Bongani Khumalo started for Doncaster Rovers as they lost by the same scoreline at bottom side Yeovil Town. Dean Furman was an unused substitute in that game.
Former Kaizer Chiefs left-back Keegan Ritchie was not involved for Czech side Slavia Prague as they resumed after the winter break.
And it’s just as well as Slavia were overwhelmed 5-1 by Sigma Olomouc as their troubles in the league this season continue. They are hovering just above the relegation zone.
It was also a poor weekend for Daylon Claasen, who was replaced at halftime of Lech Poznan’s 5-1 loss at PogoĊ„ Szczecin.
Kamohelo Mokotjo was still missing for Dutch side PEC Zwolle as he recovers from injury. The team drew 1-1 at home to Heracles.
Dean Patricio, who had been on the bench for PEC in their last three games, dropped out of the match day squad.
Thulani Serero missed Ajax Amsterdam’s match against AZ Alkmaar yesterday (Sunday) as he continues to struggle with a groin problem, a serious worry ahead of Bafana Bafana’s clash with Brazil on March 5.