Local News - Issue 218

Lekgwathi Rewarded With Pirates Contract
Orlando Pirates have confirmed veteran defender Lucky Lekgwathi has been offered a new deal. Lekgwathi, who turned 38 last week, had been training with Bucs as a free agent in pre-season. However, Pirates revealed via their official website that Lekgwathi has been handed a contract for the 2014/15 campaign. 

Orlando Pirates defender Siyabonga Sangweni has settled his future by signing a new contract with the club. But Pirates and Sangweni’s business manager, Mike Makaab, refused to confirm this or the length of the contract. The defender’s last contract with Bucs expired at the end of June and he was linked with a move to Mamelodi Sundowns. But after Sundowns signed Mario Booysen from Maritzburg United, Sangweni was left with no choice but to remain with the Buccaneers. The 32-year-old was in the starting line-up when Pirates took on SuperSport United in the MTN8 quarter-finals and according to PSL rules, a player can only be registered with the league once he has a contract with a club. With Sangweni registered for the 2014/15 season it means that he has signed a new contract even though the club refuses to confirm this. The Empangeni-born player is expected to be in the starting line-up when Pirates open their league campaign against Moroka Swallows on Saturday night.

Mpumalanga Black Aces have announced the signing of midfielder Abia Nale on a two-year deal from Kaizer Chiefs.
Nale, who also has an option on his contract, returns to AmaZayoni following his successful loan spell at the club last season. Born in Sebokeng, Abia was a key player at Aces last season after been loaned from Chiefs and soon became a firm fan-favourite. He made it clear that he wanted to play for Aces under Clive Barker and his pace down the left will be key to Aces success this season.

Zimbabwean defender Thomas ‘Rambo’ Sweswe has attracted interest in his services from Asia, while a PSL club are also considering snapping him up. Sweswe is a free agent following the expiry of his contract at Bidvest Wits at the end of June but has continued training with the club’s reserve team to maintain his fitness. Word reaching this website is that the experienced centre-back will either be heading out to Asia or will link up with a PSL club which has already made contact with him. Mpumalanga Black Aces were keen to sign the ex-Kaizer Chiefs and Manning Rangers hardman in January but the deal fell through as he still had knee discomfort at the time.

Maritzburg United have officially announced a sponsorship deal with the City of Msunduzi worth R36 million. The city will contribute R12m a season for three years to the Team of Choice, as announced at a press conference. United previously turned down an opportunity to relocate to Port Elizabeth following a counter offer by the Maritzburg municipality.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter says star midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala is edging closer to making a comeback from injury.
‘Shabba’ went down injured towards the end of the 4-2 pre-season friendly win against Chippa United in Port Elizabeth on July 20, and a sonar later revealed damage to the inner ligament of the knee, resulting in two to three weeks on the sidelines. Baxter is pleased that Tshabalala is close to a return, but warns that he must fight his way back into the team, especially in light of their 4-0 thumping of Mpumalanga Black Aces in the MTN8.

Rwanda will be the fourth side in South Africa’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification pool after they ousted Congo on penalties on Saturday. It means Bafana Bafana must finish in the top two, or as the best third-place finishers, after matches home and away against Sudan, Nigeria and the Rwandans.

AmaZulu have completed the signing of veteran defender Robyn Johannes. The former Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates defender had been training with the club following his release from Maritzburg United, having also tried out with Bidvest Wits. Johannes has signed a two-year-contract.

Milano United have continued to strengthen their team ahead of the new National First Division season. Milano narrowly missed out on PSL promotion last season when they lost in the Play-offs contested with Polokwane City and Black Leopards. The side from Grassy Park have now signed former Chippa United midfielder Robin Rhode and also Santos defender Ricardo Skippers on one-year deals. United have already signed former Bafana Bafana international Nasief Morris to add more experience to their ranks.

SuperSport United coach Cavin Johnson has announced that new signing Clayton Daniels will captain the side in the 2014/15 season. Last season the armband was rotated between Bevan Fransman, Ronwen Williams and Thabo September, but this time Johnson says he has opted for his new centre-back.

Orlando Pirates have completed the signing of Kamohelo Mabuya from African Warriors. The 25-year-old spent a few seasons with Golden Arrows before moving to the National First Division. According to a source close to the Buccaneers, Mabuya has signed a three-year contract with the club. “He is quality. He plays as a holding midfielder, but is also very good going forward.” Mabuya joins fellow news signings Gladwin Shitolo, Issa Sarr, Philani Zikalala and Thabo Qalinge at Pirates.

Platinum Stars have signed Isaac Nhlapo, formerly with Thanda Royal Zulu.
The defender has signed a three-year deal with Dikwena after impressing coach Allan Freese during trials. Stars have already added the likes of Letladi Madubanya, Ndumiso Mabena and Patrick Kaunda to their squad. Meanwhile, Eleazer Rodgers is also expected to complete his move to Stars. Stars are currently locked in negotiations with Mamelodi Sundowns in bid to land the striker this season.

Moroka Swallows have appointed former Kaizer Chiefs striker Fani Madida as an assistant coach to Zeca Marques. Swallows have been without an assistant since the passing away of Denis Lota earlier this year. Madida says that he is happy to work for the Dube Birds. “Yes, I can confirm that I have signed a one-year deal and I’m happy with it,” the 47-year-old says. Madida began his playing career with Kaizer Chiefs in 1987 before he was loaned out to Giant Blackpool. The former striker returned to Chiefs and went on to play for Besiktas, Antalyaspor and Bursaspor in Turkey as well as Seven Stars.  As a coach he had spells with the now-defunct Hellenic and his last job was at AmaZulu where he also worked as an assistant coach.

Platinum Stars have completed the signing of striker Rhulani Manzini from National First Division side Witbank Spurs. Kaunda finished as the top goalscorer in Botswana with 20 goals for Santos FC last season.

Maritzburg United are on the verge of signing Ghanaian striker Mike Mohammed on a three-year deal following a successful trial. Mohammed trained with Kaizer Chiefs for a few weeks before resurfacing at United recently where he did enough to impress coach Steve Komphela. According to a source close to the Team of Choice, the former Mbabane Swallows striker is set to sign a three-year deal with the KwaZulu-Natal-based club.

Mamelodi Sundowns have confirmed that Swedish club Djurgardens IF have made an offer for midfielder Xolani Mdaki. Mdaki is set for a four-month loan deal after he started training with the Europeans on July 7 and impressed. Sundowns confirm: “Mdaki has been with the Swedish team for the past three weeks, and has featured in several friendly games. His agent Tim Sukazi, said that his performance was good, hence the interest in keeping him. “The Swedes have tabled an offer, and we are now in negotiations over the proposal. Djugardens want to keep him until the end of the year on a short term loan deal.”

Chippa United have made yet another signing as they welcome Edward Manqele to the team on a one-year loan deal. Manqele recently made his intentions clear that he wasn’t keen on staying at Chloorkop and the Brazilians have now let him go to join the Chilli Boys. Sundowns also confirm that Thamsanqa Sangweni has joined Chippa on loan for next season. Meanwhile, Chippa are still negotiating with Sundowns for the services of defender Doctor Mampuru, but that deal has not been finalised.

Free State Stars have confirmed the signing of 14 new players, including Ivorian defender Robert Sankara and Burkina Faso international goalkeeper Daouda Diakite.
Also joining on a permanent deal is Richard Henyekane, who scored seven goals in 16 appearances when he was on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns in the past season. The rest of the signings are Rudolf Bester, DaCosta Angula, Hendrik Somaeb, Moffat Mdluli, Sandile Mkhwanazi, Johny Mathole, Bafana Kali, Thabiso Maharala, Tumelo Letuka, Makhehlene Makhaula and Morena Mokoena. Six of these players are either from the National First Division or lower divisions.

Free State Stars captain Paulus Masehe voted the club’s Player of the Season for his contribution in 2013/14. The club hosted its end-of-the-season awards at Oranje Farm Guesthouse Complex in the Free State, and ‘The Horse’ was the star of the show as he pocketed a total R100 000 for helping the club stave off relegation. The former Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder missed just one match last season, playing 33 in all competitions.

Tinashe Nengomasha has signed for Mpumalanga Black Aces on a two-year deal. The former Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits midfielder has been training with AmaZayoni for the past couple of weeks. "Tinashe has signed for two years. I wish I signed him long ago," Barker confirms.

Bloemfontein Celtic have signed ex-Kaizer Chiefs left-back Keegan Ritchie on a two-year deal. Phunya Sele Sele announced the news via their offical Twitter feed, saying: "@Bloem_Celtic has signed Defender Keegan Ritchie on a 2 year deal from SK Slavia Prague." Ritchie had been on trial with Celtic since the club competed in the Charity Showdown on 19 July. Ritchie previously endured a short spell with Czech side Slavia Prague following his exit from Amakhosi. He was also once on the books of Moroka Swallows.

Kaizer Chiefs have announced the signings of Ovidy Karuru and Phakamani Mngadi. Zimbabwean midfielder Karuru signs on a three-year deal, having previously played for Belgian club OH Leuven. Winger Mngadi also arrives from Belgium, where he plays for K.A.S. Eupen. He joins on an 11-month loan deal. Earlier, Chiefs missed out on the signing of long-term target Thabo Qalinge, who joined Orlando Pirates from Mpumalanga Black Aces.

Orlando Pirates have agreed on the transfer fee and the personal terms to sign DRC internationals Eddy Emomo and Bodrick Ungenda Muselenge on three-year deals. The moves will go through once Pirates complete payment to the pair's respective clubs. In the meantime the laborious process of securing the two players’ work permits is already underway.  Emomo (20) has been the main source of goals at Congo DR Super Ligue club Sharks XI playing as the top striker, while Ungenda (24) has been captain of Motema Pembe standing as a central defender. They were scouted during the 2014 CHAN finals early this year with both playing a key role for The Leopards, and will join Senegalese midfielder Issa Sarr and Mozambican striker Helder Pelembe on the list of foreigners at Pirates.

Orlando Pirates last week announced the signing of Thabo Qalinge from Mpumalanga Black Aces. The 22-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to Kaizer Chiefs, but the Buccaneers have stolen a march on their Soweto rivals.

Chippa United have signed Namibian striker Theophilus 'Ronaldo' Tsowaseb on a permanent deal from Orlando Pirates. Tsowaseb, who arrived at Bucs in January from Namibia's identically named Orlando Pirates, leaves Mayfair without kicking a ball for the Soweto giants in official competition. Meanwhile, the Chilli Boys have also recruited Ghana goalkeeper Fatau Dauda from the Sea Robbers on a two-year contract. Manti Moholo, Siyabonga Zulu, Joseph Molongoane, Bheki Nzunga and William Twala have likewise joined the PSL returnees from Pirates.

Mpumalanga Black Aces have confirmed the signing of two more players to bolster their squad ahead of the new season. Lehlohonolo Nonyane, who has in the past been called up to the Bafana Bafana squad, has joined the club on a two-year contract from Jomo Cosmos while Mbombela United’s Given Mashikinya has also signed a two-year deal. Aces have also signed Peter Moyo, Thanduyise Khuboni, Mzivukile Tom, Roger Da Costa, Collins Mbesuma, Edwin Gyimah, Miguel Timm and Bhongolethu Jayiya.

Chippa United have signed Zimbabwean twins Patrick and Peter Mubayiwa who join the Chilli Boys from Witbank Spurs. They have both signed two-year contracts. However, the brothers have applied for permanent residence permits since they have been in the country for more than five years playing for Witbank Spurs. As it stands, the Mubayiwas are waiting for their papers.

Ajax Cape Town have completed the signing of SuperSport United striker Thabiso Nkoana on a one-year loan deal. Nkoana made just seven league appearances for the Urban Warriors last season and has fallen further down the pecking order following the acquisitions of Lerato Manzini and Thabani Mthembu in his position. The 21-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of next season, scored in the pre-season friendly defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns and has impressed the technical team.

National First Division side Milano United will play their home games at Philippi Stadium this coming season. Chippa United used the venue last term before they were promoted to the Premier Soccer League and decided to relocate to Port Elizabeth. Milano previously shared Athlone Stadium with Santos, while they also entertained visitors at the Wynberg Military Stadium as their traditional home base Grassy Park Stadium was deemed unsuitable to the task.

Forgotten Orlando Pirates left-back Kyle Davies says that he still in limbo after signing a two-year deal with the team earlier this year. Davies signed a deal with Pirates after he was identified through the Nedbank Ke Yona team search in February. Since signing for Bucs the 20-year-old has been training with a local side in Durban, and says he is not aware of what’s the club’s plans are going forward. “I am at home [in Durban] training and waiting on Pirates to let me know what’s happening,” says Davies.  “When I phoned them (Pirates) they told me that I need to stay calm and that they will let me know when I can come up to Johannesburg. I tried to get hold of Floyd (Mbele) but he is always in meetings,” adds Davies. The defender has revealed that there are a number of PSL and NFD teams interested in his services, but he cannot sign for any of them as he is still contracted to the Parktown-based side. “I need to know what’s happening because there are other teams that want me, from the NFD and the PSL. If Pirates are not going to use me then they need to let me know so that I can go,” says Davies. Efforts to get hold of Orlando Pirates management for comment proved futile.