Local News - Issue 231

Shakes Announces Bafana Squad To Take On Sudan And Nigeria
South Africa coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba has named his squad for this month's final two 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sudan and Nigeria. Mashaba, who will announce his captain before the Sudan game, has notably called up Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo, Sweden-based midfielder May Mahlangu and Orlando Pirates pair Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Lehlohonolo Majoro, while he has dropped Thulani Hlatshwayo, Keagan Dolly and David Zulu. Platinum Stars duo Siyabonga Mpontshane and Luvolwethu Mpeta, and Bidvest Wits' Siyabonga Nhlapo have also gotten the nod, with SuperSport United gloveman Ronwen Williams and Kaizer Chiefs’ Tsepo Masilela surprise absentees. Bafana Bafana, who top Group A, will host the Falcons of Jediane on 15 November before travelling to Nigeria to tackle the continental champions four days later. The home tie will be played at Moses Mabhida Stadium in honour of the late Bafana and Orlando Pirates skipper Senzo Meyiwa, who was buried on Saturday at Heroes Acre in Chesterville after being fatally shot on 26 October. Mashaba and his team will visit Meyiwa's grave the day before the upcoming match, which was initially scheduled for Nelspruit's Mbombela Stadium but was moved to the 27-year-old's home city of Durban.

Bafana squad:
Darren Keet, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Brilliant Khuzwayo.
Anele Ngcongca, Siyabonga Nhlapho, Luvolwethu Mpeta, Sibusiso Khumalo, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Kwanda Mngonyama, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Rivaldo Coetzee, Tefu Mashamaite.
Themba Zwane, Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali, Dean Furman, Mandla Masango, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Thulani Serero, May Mahlangu, Sibusiso Vilakazi.
Bongani Ndulula, Tokelo Rantie, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Kermit Erasmus, Fagrie Lakay.

Rofhiwa Tshikovhi is set to be offered an improved contract as Platinum Stars try to ward off serious interest in the defender from some of the PSL's big spenders. Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United are reportedly after the services of the player, while Moroka Swallows are also considering joining the race when the transfer window opens in January. However, Dikwena – who have often lost their key players to bigger clubs – are determined to keep Tshikovhi within their ranks and hope that the player will soon put pen to paper before the end of the year. The defender's contract will run out in June next year and if the Rustenburg-based outfit fails to tie him down for a longer term before the end of December, he will be allowed to hold formal talks with other teams in January. Stars coach Allan Freese says that the club are engaged in talks with the player.

The South African Police Service says information currently at their disposal suggests Senzo Meyiwa's murder "was a robbery gone horribly wrong". The SAPS confirmed once again that 13 people have been questioned and one arrested as a suspect as investigations continue. Lieutenant General Vineshkumar Moonoo and Major General Tebello Mosikili addressed the media and released the following statements. "The Senzo Meyiwa investigation team has been working very hard, day and night, to find the perpetrators of this tragic act. The investigation is going well, we've received a lot of information from the public through various platforms. The public has been very helpful and we follow up on every piece of information. Thirteen people were detained and questioned and we decided to arrest only one individual at this stage. Twenty-five-year-old Zanokuhle Mbatha from Vosloorus was arrested; he was remanded in custody and is to re-appear in court on 11 November. "We are now at a stage where we can focus on a court-driven investigation and follow up on several leads … we are looking at every possibility. We maintain that information currently at our disposal suggests that it was a robbery gone horribly wrong. Three people taken in for questioning over the weekend could not be positively linked to the case and were released." Asked whether the suspect arrested is cooperating with the police, Moonoo said: "The arrested person's family has denied his involvement. If his family denies involvement, he won't cooperate with the police." Regarding the role of the suspect arrested in the crime, Moonoo added: "It wouldn't be fair for me to answer that question at this stage." Moonoo added: "The stolen cell phone [taken during the armed robbery] forms an integral part of the investigation … we are investigating whether texts sent from it are genuine. We are sure that the person arrested and charged is one of the suspects. We are sure about two persons being directly involved in the case i.e. they were on the premises, but we are still investigating. The persons arrested at Beit Bridge … there was nothing linking them to the crime and they were not arrested, they were detained, questioned and released. It was very disturbing that pictures of people were published [when they weren't suspects], it violates their human rights." The SAPS said today's briefing would be the last time they address the media publicly on the matter and they will provide feedback when appropriate.

Stuart Baxter will reach a personal milestone by taking charge of his 100th game for Kaizer Chiefs when AmaKhosi visit AmaZulu on Wednesday evening. Baxter currently sits one shy of the century mark, accumulating 99 games at the helm since his forgetful first game in charge in the MTN8 quarter-finals which ended in a 4-1 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on 5 August 2012. AmaKhosi will be hoping to maintain their superb start to the League campaign, which has left them eight points in front with just nine games played, against AmaZulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday night.

The CAF executive committee has decided that the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations will go ahead in January despite concerns over the Ebola virus. At its meeting on Sunday in Algeria, the Executive Committee says it considered the request of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Morocco on the postponement of the 2015 Nations Cup. “Unanimity was reached on keeping the competition on the dates originally agreed; namely from January 17 to February 8, 2015,” CAF’s statement reads. The statement concludes: “A meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on 11 November 2014 in Cairo, Egypt to take the necessary decisions.”

Former Black Leopards coach Sean Connor has begun scouting work in the United Kingdom while waiting on new coaching opportunities to arise. Connor was briefly at Leopards, but was then shown the door before he had even sat on the bench as he was awaiting the issuing of his work-permit at the time. Connor is now doing scouting work for two unnamed Championship clubs, but remains interested in returning to another South Africa club – but not Leopards, who claimed he will come back once his work permit issues are sorted when he left in September. The Northern Irishman left Leopards seven weeks ago and was then followed out by Ashwin Sutton and Solly Luvhengo, who have since been replaced by Joel Masutha.

Swedish club IFK Goteborg have confirmed that Bafana Bafana midfielder May Mahlangu will leave when his contract expires in December. The 25-year-old arrived at the club in March, having left another Swedish club Helsingborg in December 2013. Goteborg sporting director Mats Gren confirmed Mahlangu’s departure on a website.  The former Stars of Africa product made his final appearance for the club this weekend, being replaced with 15 minutes to go as Goteborg made sure of second place in Sweden with a 5-1 home win over Halmstad.

Platinum Stars are leading the race to sign Township Rollers midfielder Segolame Boy. The Botswana international is touted as a good replacement for Mogakolodi Ngele, who is set to join Mamelodi Sundowns. Both Orlando Pirates and Sundowns are also reported to have made contact with an interest to bring Boy to the PSL this season. According to a source close to player, Dikwena are only team that has made an official approach with regards to signing the Zebras midfielder. Township Rollers boss Summerset Gobuiwang confirmed that there has been interest from PSL teams for Boy's services.

Former Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates striker Thembinkosi Fanteni is still on trial at Maritzburg United. The ex-Bafana Bafana international has been without a club after he was released by Wits over a year ago. Fanteni had unsuccessful trials with AmaZulu and Bloemfontein Celtic, while he also failed to complete an assessment with Chippa United. However, the 30-year-old has been given another opportunity to resuscitate his career by the Team of Choice, with coach Steve Komphela monitoring his progress over the past two weeks.

Coach Duncan Lechesa is on the verge of joining National First Division side Garankuwa United. Lechesa, who parted ways with Royal Eagles recently, is negotiating with the Pretoria-based outfit. Garankuwa United, previously known as United FC, are 15th on the log with six points after nine matches.

Platinum Stars coach Allan Freese has set his sights on bringing Chippa United midfielder William Twala into his ranks. The 24-year-old, a former Orlando Pirates player, is weighing up his options as Stars and Chippa prepare for talks when the transfer window opens in January. Twala's contract with Chippa will only run out in 2017, meaning that Dikwena will have to fork out a substantial amount of money if they hope to bring him to their camp.

South African defender Siyanda Xulu stopped training with his club FC Rostov following racist remarks made by his coach Igor Gamula. Gamula was speaking at a post-match press conference last Friday after his side’s 1-0 victory over Ural in the Russian Premier League. The coach was asked by local media whether Rostov would sign Cameroon defender Benoit Angbwa, who has apparently been linked with the club. Gamula allegedly responded by saying that he won’t sign black players and claimed Ebola has spread to the club after five of his players reportedly fell ill. Xulu, whose move from Mamelodi Sundowns to Rostov was confirmed in September 2012, was angered by the coach’s comments and he has subsequently stopped training with the club. Gamula claims he was joking. There are often reports relating to racism in Russia’s football circles and players like Hulk of Brazil have in the past been subjected to racist taunts.

Itumeleng Khune is edging ever closer to a return to action after news that his moonboot has been removed. The Kaizer Chiefs number one has been out of action for two months after surgery on a troublesome ankle injury. However, his absence has hardly hurt the Amakhosi, who are still unbeaten in the league and leading second-placed Ajax Cape Town by eight points. Brilliant Khuzwayo and Reyaad Pieterse have been doing a fine job deputizing in Khune’s absence, but ‘Spiderkid’ is expected to reclaim the number one jersey as soon as he returns to training.

The funeral of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa took place at a packed Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday. Meyiwa was awarded an official provincial funeral following his fatal shooting in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni last Sunday. Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza, Kaizer Chiefs supremo Kaizer Motaung, SAFA president Danny Jordaan and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula were among those who spoke glowingly of the 27-year-old. Meyiwa's Bucs teammates, led by fellow goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo, also delivered a song in his honour. Rest In Peace Senzo Meyiwa.

AmaZulu have confirmed the club terminated the contract of wayward midfielder Ruzaigh Gamildien. The Bafana Bafana forward, who joined Usuthu in January after falling out of favour at Bloemfontein Celtic, now faces an uncertain future. Gamildien’s contract was due to come to an end at the completion of the 2015/16 season. He is the second player to be axed by AmaZulu for disciplinary reasons this season. Bongi Macala was released in September after also being found guilty of misconduct. Gamildien won three caps for Bafana at the 2013 COSAFA Cup in Zambia.

South African coaching development is set to be given a major boost as SAFA gear up for the start of the fourth edition of the Carling Black Label Coach The Coaches programme.
The initiative, a partnership between Carling Black Label and the national soccer body, will run from 1 November to 10 November at the SAB World of Learning in Kyalami. The Carling Black Label Coach the Coaches programme will give 58 passionate coaches the indispensable SAFA C-Level coaching course, which is to be conducted over a 10-Day period by some of the country’s best football instructors. The programme was first launched in 2011 by the award-winning beer alongside SAFA in a bid to add to the number of qualified football coaches at grassroots level. Previous coaches of this programme have since went back and contributed to the development of football in the country. This groundbreaking initiative by Carling Black Label comes at quite a crucial time in the transition of South African football with SAFA’s vision of accrediting at least 10 000 coaches per year in full swing. This year’s selection criteria sparked some excitement but most importantly created healthy competition. To qualify for this programme, coaches had to finish at the summit of their SAB regional leagues across the 52 SAFA Regions. Also, six of the coaches were selected from the Carling League of Champions tournament, which is another Carling Black Label Community soccer initiative. This means that this year’s Coach The Coaches programme will have a total of 58 candidates.

Free State Stars defender Daniel Cardoso has been cleared for action after a lengthy spell out with a stress fracture. Cardoso is yet to play this season, having also missed a sizeable chunk of last campaign with the injury. However, he is fit again, as are his teammates Robert Sankara, Andrea Fileccia and Danny Venter. Defender Sankara had a hamstring complaint, while Belgian striker Fileccia was nursing a bruised thigh. Rudolf Bester (hamstring), Sibusiso Mthethwa (shoulder) and Hendrik Somaeb (foot) remain on the sidelines with their respective knocks.

First Division club Black Leopards have completed the signing of defender Thomas ‘Rambo’ Sweswe on a deal running up to the end of the season. The Zimbabwean – who holds South African permanent residence – has already been registered with the PSL and is immediately available for Leopards’ league match against Thanda Royal Zulu this afternoon. Sweswe’s contract with Bidvest Wits was not renewed when it expired at the end of last season. He has previously played for Manning Rangers and Kaizer Chiefs and his experience will play a key role in Lidoda Duvha’s promotion bid.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Lebohang 'Cheeseboy' Mokoena is in line to make his first appearance of the season against Mpumalanga Black Aces in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday. Cheeseboy, who had shoulder surgery in pre-season, has battled a host of injuries over the years. However, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has confirmed the 28-year-old will make an appearance in their next fixture.

David Zulu will be playing for Kaizer Chiefs in the new year after he signed for the Phefeni Glamour Boys last week. The 28-year-old has been the subject of transfer speculation in recent weeks with the striker being linked with as many as four clubs; Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United. According to a senior Chippa United official, Chiefs have won the race for Zulu’s services with the player signing a long-term contract. Zulu’s agent Abbie Rasimphi of Liberate Resources Sports Management didn’t confirm this, but didn’t deny it either. The player also refused to confirm the deal and has referred his legal representative, Vincent Madela, who also declined to comment because he hasn’t briefed Rasimphi about the latest developments. Zulu, who finished last season as the top scorer in the National First Division with 16 goals, has been impressive for Chippa scoring four league goals in 10 starts in all competitions this season.

Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe has donated $1 million to the Republic of Guinea's 'Ebola Fund'. Sundowns' website reports that Motsepe made the pledge a few weeks ago, with the necessary regulatory approvals obtained on Friday. The money 'will assist Guinea with clinical management, social mobilisation, medical coordination and other key mechanisms of controlling the disease', which has killed some 5000 people in west Africa. “According to the World Health Organisation, Ebola is an epidemic in certain countries in west Africa. However the impact of the disease has potentially far-reaching consequences for west Africa, Africa and the world. It is a global issue which requires the global community to work together and bring an end to the disease,” Motsepe is quoted as saying.

There is a chance SAFA will not be staging the Nelson Mandela Challenge this year. The match, played in honour of the former state president and anti-apartheid icon, has been an annual feature since 1995. However, there are only two international dates left on Bafana Bafana's 2014 calendar, and they are both filled by the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifying matches against Sudan and Nigeria on November 15 and 19 respectively. SAFA has yet to make a final decision and announcement on the cancellation of the fixture, but this is believed to be a formality. African champions Nigeria won the previous edition of the competition with a 2-0 victory over Bafana in August 2013.

SA players abroad
Bafana Bafana playmaker Thulani Serero made his return from injury for Ajax, May Mahlangu may have played his last game for Goteborg, while Darren Keet kept a clean sheet on the weekend.
Daylon Claasen played the final 10 minutes for 1860 Munich as they secured a much-needed 3-0 victory over Bochum to move out of the relegation zone in the German Bundesliga II.
Kagisho Dikgacoi was still missing for Cardiff City as they won 3-1 at home to Leeds United in the English Championship.
Dean Furman
was also an unused substitute for League One side Doncaster Rovers as they picked up a much-needed victory over his former side Bradford City to move three points clear of the relegation zone.
Andile Jali was given the weekend off by KV Oostende to attend the funeral of his former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana teammate Senzo Meyiwa, and his side missed him as they lost 1-0 at Waasland-Beveren.
Darren Keet was in goal for Kortrijk in their emphatic 4-0 victory over Cercle Brugge.
May Mahlangu was replaced with 15 minutes to go as Goteborg made sure of second place in Sweden with a 5-1 home win over Halmstad that brings to a close their season and potentially is also a last appearance for the club by Mahlangu, who is tipped to move on when his contract expires in December.
Kamohelo Mokotjo was replaced late on by FC Twente as they won 2-0 at home to Heerenveen.
Anele Ngcongca played for Genk as they were surprise 2-0 losers at bottom side Zulte-Waregem.
Ricardo Nunes played the full game for Polish side Pogon Szczecin as they drew 1-1 at Gornik Zabrze.
Ayanda Patosi continued his run of starts for Lokeren as they drew 1-1 at Anderlecht in Belgium on Saturday. He was substituted in injury-time.
Lebogang Phiri came on for the final 40 or so minutes as Brondby continued their good form in the Danish League to move to third with a 1-0 home win over Randers.
Steven Pienaar played the final 22 minutes for Everton as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea City in the English Premiership.
Tokelo Rantie was on the bench as Bournemouth moved into the automatic promotion places in the English Championship with a 3-2 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.
Thulani Serero made his comeback from injury as a second-half substitute for Ajax Amsterdam in their 4-0 victory over Dordrecht on Saturday. Serero had sat out the previous three games for the side with a hamstring problem.
Tiya Shipalane could only help his side to a 2-2 draw with Minnesota United in the USA second-tier which means they did not qualify for the post season play-offs.
Siyanda Xulu was an unused substitute for Russian side FC Rostov as they won 1-0 at home to Ural, their first league victory in seven matches.