Local News - Issue 232

Senzo’s Suspected Killer Has Been Released
The man thought to have killed Senzo Meyiwa has been released as the state does not have enough evidence to prosecute him. Zanokuhle Mbatha was originally arrested following the incident in Vosloorus three weeks ago which saw the Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain lose his life. He was identified in a line-up after being picked up on October 31, and his trial was due to start in the Boksburg Magistrates Court today. However, the court has now withdrawn the case and ordered his immediate release due to a lack of evidence

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Lebohang Mothibantwa has ventured into coaching after taking on a development role at Cypriot outfit Bostanci Bagcil. Mothibantwa recently signed a one-and-a-half-year playing contract with Bagcil, and has featured in three league games this season. However, he will now also be running the club's U-12 and U-19 teams. The ex-Bloemfontein Celtic man is confident he can handle the extra work-load. On the playing front, he says he is enjoying himself.

Siyabonga Nomvete's agent Mike Makaab says they are yet to discuss the striker's plans for next season. Nomvete, 37, is contracted to Moroka Swallows until the end of the campaign, and Makaab says they will evaluate his options in due course. The former Udinese forward has provided two assists in nine appearances in 2014/15. Makaab feels Nomvete's healthy lifestyle continues to serve him well. Nomvete, who earned 82 Bafana Bafana caps, has seen less game-time of late, but Makaab feels he still has plenty to offer South African football. Meanwhile, Makaab doubts Nomvete will go into coaching when he eventually calls time on his career.

Platinum Stars goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane and Mpumalanga Black Aces striker Tendai Ndoro head Orlando Pirates' wanted list for the January transfer window. The Sea Robbers are looking for a keeper to replace the late Senzo Meyiwa, and made an unsuccessful bid for Mpontshane in the previous trading period. According to a source close to Bucs, a fresh offer will be made for Mpontshane, while Ndoro looks to be on his way to the Soweto giants as part of a swap deal involving midfielder Aubrey Ngoma. Ngoma is on loan at AmaZayoni from the Buccaneers. Pirates have three goalkeepers in Brighton Mhlongo, Philani Zikalala and Ntando Nkala, with the former doing duty in the club's 2-0 loss to SuperSport United in the Telkom Knockout semi-finals on the weekend.

New Free State Stars caretaker coach Kinnah Phiri said he is settling well into the role following the departure of Tom Saintfiet. The Malawian was previously assisting Saintfiet, who was sacked on 6 November in the wake of a 5-2 home defeat to Polokwane City. Phiri was also in charge of Stars towards the end of last season as the Bethlehem-based outfit narrowly beat the drop. Ea Lla Koto, who are 11th on the table with 11 points from 10 games, next visit Bidvest Wits on 22 November.

Moroka Swallows are assessing stand-in boss Fani Madida and will make a decision regarding the coaching position at a later stage. Madida joined the Dube Birds at the beginning of the season as an assistant coach but has been in charge since Zeca Marques left last month. Club CEO Leon Prins says that they are not looking elsewhere for a new coach. Prins says with more Swallows players coming back from injury the team will get stronger as the campaign progresses.

Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates legend Mark Fish has assured fans he will be "back on his feet in no time" following a health scare. Fish was rushed to hospital on Saturday after he experienced trouble breathing when at his house on the banks of the Vaal River. However, the 40-year-old, who went for tests in Vereeniging on Monday morning, expects he will be able to attend Pirates Legends' clash with Manchester Football Legends at Ellis Park this Saturday - a game he was initially set to play in. The 1996 Afcon winner added: “But I’m feeling great now. I’ll show my face at the Orlando Pirates versus Manchester United Legends game on Saturday out of respect to Senzo Meyiwa but I won’t be playing.

Orlando Pirates have revealed the names of the former players that will represent the club in a match against Manchester Football Legends. The match takes place at Ellis Park in Johannesburg this Saturday. A strong Pirates squad includes some of their finest players from the 1990s, including at least eight of the legends of Abidjan who played in the 1-0 win away to Asec Mimosas that clinched the African Champions Cup in 1995.

Orlando Pirates Legends: Williams Okpara, Marc Batchelor, Mark Fish (will be unavailable), Edward Motale, Teboho Moloi, Bashin Mahlangu, Innocent Chikoya, Ronnie Zondi, Gavin Lane, Steve Lekoelea, Phiri Tsotetsi, Naughty Mokoena, Bruce Ramokadi, Josep Ngake, Helman Mkhalele, Jerry Sikhosana, Andries Sebola and Eugene Zwane.

Bafana Bafana took time off from training in Durban on Monday to pay their last respects to fallen captain Senzo Meyiwa. Bafana stars such as Andile Jali, Mandla Masango and Dean Furman were among those who visited Meyiwa's grave at Heroes Acre cemetery in Chesterville.

Mamelodi Sundowns fans are divided over whether Pitso Mosimane is the right man to lead the club forward. The Brazilians suffered a surprise 1-0 Telkom Knockout semi-final defeat to Platinum Stars on Sunday, adding to their struggles in the Absa Premiership, where they trail leader Kaizer Chiefs by 12 points. After yesterday’s match in Rustenburg, some fans gathered around the team bus and chanted ‘Pitso must go’, though they quickly dispersed when the PSL security was joined by members of the SAPS. Downs spokesperson Kabelo Mosito preferred not to comment on the incident at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

Chippa United have decided to part ways with midfielder Masibusane Zongo shortly after he completed a rehabilitation course for alcohol abuse. Zongo has battled with off-field issues over the past few years, prompting Chippa to send him for treatment. And although Zongo successfully finished a 12-month programme, club CEO Peter Koutroulis says they have since cut ties with the 24-year-old. Koutroulis didn't want to elaborate on the reasons for letting the player go. Zongo has been marked as a player with a lot of potential but claims of ill-discipline saw him lose favour at his former clubs SuperSport United and Vasco da Gama.

Orlando Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic says midfielder Oupa Manyisa deserves to captain the club. Manyisa wore the armband in Pirates' 2-0 defeat to SuperSport United in a Telkom Knockout semi-final at Orlando Stadium last Saturday night. And Vermezovic said Manyisa will continue leading the team, taking over from the late Senzo Meyiwa. “Oupa Manyisa deserves to be the captain of this team,” Vermezovic said. “He is Bafana Bafana player, he played the whole games last season. He was named the player of the season at the club. And I think he completely deserves to captain this team.”

Platinum Stars reached their second consecutive Telkom Knockout Final after edging Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in their semi-final on Sunday afternoon. Eleazar Rodgers scored the only goal of the game five minutes after half-time to set up a 2014 Final against SuperSport United after they beat Orlando Pirates 2-0 on Saturday night. Sundowns were unable to fashion a clear enough chance as they went in search of an equaliser, with a half-chance, far-post header for Niang the clearest opportunity in the second half following another disappointing performance and result.

Midfielder Goodman 'Deco' Dlamini has been named AmaZulu's player of the month for October. Usuthu caretaker boss Wilfred Mugeyi said Dlamini was a worthy recipient of the award in a trying time for the team. Dlamini was rewarded with R2000 and a night’s stay for two at Suncoast Hotel Towers. The 26-year-old expressed gratitude and took the opportunity to urge the side's fans to keep showing their support.

Ajax Cape Town reserve goalkeeper Brandon Petersen will spend 10 days training with Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam. The 20-year-old, who played seven PSL games in his breakthrough season last term, currently provides cover to Finnish shot-stopper Anssi Jaakkola at Ikamva. Petersen did duty in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge this campaign but was unable to help the Urban Warriors reach the knockout stages of the competition, which resumes on 17 January.

Orlando Pirates have advised that fans who bought tickets for the Soweto Derby that was postponed from 2 November but are unable to attend the rescheduled match on 6 December can go to Computicket for full refund.

To obtain a full refund:
• The valid original match ticket must be produced at Computicket.
• The equivalent monetary value of the ticket will be given to the ticket holder in exchange for the ticket.
• All patrons wishing to exchange their tickets are encouraged to do so as soon as possible ahead of match day.
Good news for fans that have been unable to purchase tickets for the match on 6 December is that all refunded tickets will be put back into the system for resale. The newly sold tickets will be dated 06 December 2014, but all other remaining Soweto Derby match tickets dated 01 November 2014 will continue to be valid. The Derby was postponed last weekend due to the passing of Olrando Pirates captain, Senzo Meyiwa.

Thulani Serero has been shortlisted for the 2014 African Player of the Year award, while Bernard Parker, Bongani Ndulula and the late Senzo Meyiwa have also been nominated for honours. Bafana Bafana and Ajax Amsterdam star Serero is the only South African to be in the reckoning for CAF's top individual prize. However, compatriots Parker of Kaizer Chiefs, AmaZulu hitman Ndulula (shocker), and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Meyiwa - who was fatally shot last month - have been put forward for the 2014 Africa-based African Player of the Year gong. Mamelodi Sundowns' Nigerian winger Ejike Uzoenyi and University of Pretoria's Ugandan forward Geofrey Massa have also been recognised for their efforts. CAF released the nominees for both accolades last Friday, with the winners to be announced on 8 January at a ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria. The head coaches and technical directors of the national associations affiliated to CAF will decide the voting. Ivorian Yaya Toure was crowned African Player of the Year for the past three years. Mohamed Aboutreika of Egypt was named African Player of the Year (based in Africa) last year.

Chippa United midfielder Joseph Molangoane faces a further six weeks on the sidelines as he battles to recover from a broken shin. Molangoane, who looked to be on the mend after having his moon boot removed last week, sustained the injury in his club's 3-0 loss at Maritzburg United on 26 August. However, the 26-year-old discovered today that he now has to wear a cast for a month-and-a-half as his tibia is growing in the wrong direction. The setback means Molangoane will only return for the Chilli Boys next year.

Coach Jacob Sakala is yet to join Royal Eagles and is still serving as a technical director to Mpumalanga Black Aces. Sakala, along with former Kaizer Chiefs defender Lefa Gqosha, were believed to be taking over the reins of the NFD club following the departure of Duncan Lechesa last month. However, Sakala was spotted at Tshwane's Lucas Moripe Stadium last Wednesday when Aces drew 0-0 with Mamelodi Sundowns in the League. When contacted for clarity, Eagles manager Richard Makhoba would only say that John Tlale is currently overseeing first team matters.

ProSport International CEO Mike Makaab says he is working hard to get Knowledge Musona a move away from Hoffenheim in the January transfer window. The Zimbabwean international is currently frozen out at the German Bundesliga club, where he is training with the reserve team despite being injury-free following an ankle problem. He had been linked with a return to Kaizer Chiefs, where he enjoyed a successful loan spell last season, but Makaab insists that staying in Europe remains the top priority. Makaab also reaffirmed that Europe is the main target, but that a return to Chiefs is not totally out of the question. Musona had two spells at Kaizer Chiefs which saw him bag 44 goals in 74 games.

Ajax Cape Town coach Roger de Sa says his side will be making a few signings during the upcoming January transfer window period, with out-of-favour Orlando Pirates midfielder Lehlohonolo Masalesa understood to be one of the targets. De Sa admitted that the Urban Warriors need experienced players to complement his young side who have impressed so far in the season, but acknowledged that it will be difficult owing to the limited funds available in comparison to Ajax’s wealthier PSL rivals. Masalesa is not registered for Pirates this season and De Sa may feel the best they can do is to bring him to Cape Town on loan until the end of the season as they might not be able to afford his current salary.

The PSL has announced new dates for the postponed Absa Premiership matches originally scheduled for last week. Following last weekend’s postponement of both Absa Premiership and National First Division (NFD) block fixtures, the PSL released revised fixtures. This affects matches scheduled for the weekend of 31 October to 2 November. This block fixture has been moved to the weekend of 5 to 7 December. This means that fixtures initially scheduled for the weekend of 5 to 7 December 2014 will now be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, 2 and 3 December.

Surprise Ralani is set to leave relegated Swedish second-tier side Landskrona, the club have confirmed. The South African forward, a contemporary of Tokelo Rantie and May Mahlangu at Farouk Khan’s Stars of Africa Academy, has reportedly already said goodbye to his teammates following the team’s relegation on the final day of the Swedish season on Sunday. Ralani did not play in that game as he sits out with a knee injury that has kept him sidelined since June – a key factor in the club’s eventual relegation to the third-tier. With his contract expiring in December, Ralani will now be a free agent. The 27-year-old Ralani, who like Mahlangu never played in the PSL but went straight to Sweden, has been looked at by a number of top-flight teams in that country and elsewhere in Europe. But every time he looks as though he is making progress, he gets injured, otherwise it is likely he would have been in the top-flight already. Ralani almost joined Rantie at Malmo early last year but that move was scuppered by injury.

Free State Stars have fired coach Tom Saintfiet after only 10 matches in charge. The Belgian took over at the start of the season, but at a meeting following their 5-2 drubbing at home by Polokwane City, the club decided to end his stay. Saintfiet didn’t have the worst record in the world, having won three, drawn two and lost five of his matches in charge. He becomes the sixth coach to lose his job this season after Cavin Johnson (SuperSport United), Kosta Papic (Chippa United), Craig Rosslee (AmaZulu), Zeca Marques (Moroka Swallows, resigned) and Boebie Solomons (Polokwane City).

Liverpool officially announced a joint venture with Hoy Park Sport Development Academy at the Soccerex forum at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The Liverpool FC International Football Academy is the club's first coaching programme in South Africa and aims to provide opportunities for young players and coaches to develop and have a positive impact on the game in the country. Hoy Park Sport Development Academy was launched last year at Soccerex by Paul Cardoso. This initiative will only focus on players who are in the age group of five to 13 years old. These soccer schools will seek to improve football skills and help students hone technical, tactical, physical and social aspects of the game through age-specific drills. Carlos Catalino, the Hoy Park Sport project manager, said this is groundbreaking news for South Africa at large, and they hope this will give the nation more support towards achieving their goals set out by SAFA for 'Vision 2022'. On 5 June this year, the eThekwini Municipality council confirmed their support of the project, thus allowing all necessary processes to proceed to ensuring the construction of the facility. As part of this agreement, we first saw the ELan International Durban Under-19 Tournament which was played in four venues from July to August with six top international teams and which included the South Africa Under-19 team. With Hoy Park taking part, players were scouted throughout KZN and it was led by technical director Paul Cardoso and Gugu Marawa. When the question was asked whether these plans will clash with SAFA's 'Masterplan', Cardoso said that will not be the case. Danny White, the head of International Academies at Liverpool, added that former and present players will come to the country, which will be a huge encouragement for the students. Other South African clubs who have joint ventures with European clubs are Mpumalanga Black Aces with Manchester City, Ajax Cape Town with Ajax Amsterdam, SuperSport United with Feyenoord and Bloemfontein Celtic with Sporting Lisbon.

Former Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral has denied he is set to join Moroka Swallows. The Turk was immediately linked with the Swallows hotseat following the resignation of Zeca Marques on 20 October. Ertugral, however, has now distanced himself from the job on Twitter, insisting the team is in the capable hands of caretaker boss Fani Madida. He said: "The Rumours me joining any Club in SA is not true. Especially Swallows. They have a great Coach and a friend. Fani must be supported."

Platinum Stars are working around the clock to keep Mamelodi Sundowns-target Luvolwethu Mpeta. Sundowns have set their sights on signing the Bafana Bafana newcomer in the January transfer window. But Dikwena last Monday moved a step closer to thrashing out a new contract for the fullback, according to a senior official at the club. Mpeta's existing deal expires in June.

Bidvest Wits captain Sibusiso Vilakazi says he is still traumatised after armed thugs broke into his parents' house in Soweto last Saturday. Vilakazi's family were held at gunpoint as robbers demanded his whereabouts before making off with a music system, TV set and clothes belonging to the Bafana Bafana star. Vilakazi, who bought the house for his parents in Orlando East, slept through the ordeal in a room at the back of the property. The 24-year-old is set to miss his club's League clash with Chippa United in Port Elizabeth tomorrow as he helps his family recover from the incident.

SA players abroad
Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Darren Keet kept another clean sheet, while Thulani Serero, Kamohelo Mokotjo and Ayanda Patosi also continue to impress for their respective clubs in Europe.
Dani Amos, who has expressed his desire to switch national team allegiance from Israel to South Africa, kept a clean-sheet in Sunday’s 1-0 away win for Hapoel Tel Aviv over Hapoel Ra'anana.
Dean Furman saw his FA Cup first round tie with sixth-tier Weston-super-Mare postponed because of an unplayable pitch.     
Darren Keet received a boost in confidence ahead of a likely appearance for South Africa against Sudan on Saturday when he kept a second successive clean sheet as his Belgian side Kortrijk won 1-0 against Lierse.
Andile Jali started for Oostende as they were beaten 3-1 at home by bottom side Zulte-Waregem.
Kamohelo Mokotjo continues to impress in the Dutch league and helped FC Twente up to third with a 4-0 away win at Dordrecht.
It was back-to-back losses for Anele Ngcongca’s Genk as they went down 2-0 at home to Standard Liege.
Ricardo Nunes played a leading role for his Polish side in their shock 2-1 victory over league leaders Legia Warsaw on Sunday. Left-back Nunes has become a regular this season at his new club.
Ayanda Patosi’s electric form continued as he scored one and provided assists for two others as Lokeren were comfortable 3-0 winners over Waasland-Beveren.
Lebogang Phiri started in Sunday’s disappointing 3-0 away loss at Hobro.
Tokelo Rantie was an unused substitute as Bournemouth claimed a credible 0-0 draw at third-placed Middlesbrough in the English Championship but slipped to second in the table.
Thulani Serero looked sharp again as he helped Ajax to a 4-2 win at Cambuur on Sunday, starting out in a defensive midfield role before moving to the left.
It seemed like business as usual at Rostov following the threat of a player strike following the racist comments made by the club’s coach, Igor Gamula. Siyanda Xulu was still on the bench in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Ufa.