Local News - Issue 242

Nkatha Completes Move From Chiefs To SuperSport
Kingston Nkhatha is no longer a Kaizer Chiefs player and has joined SuperSport United with immediate effect. After initially posting the news on their Twitter page, Chiefs provided further confirmation on their official website. "We wish to take this opportunity to thank Kingston for the service he has rendered during his time with us," Chiefs' director of football, Bobby Motaung, told kaizerchiefs.com. United announced their capture of Nkhatha last week, stating that the player would join the Pretoria team at the end of his contract with Chiefs on July 1. But the two clubs successfully managed to negotiate the player's early release, paving the way for the Zimbabwean striker to make his move to Matsatsantsa six months ahead of schedule. Nkhatha had entered into the final six months of his contract at Chiefs, meaning he was able to speak to any club regarding a move away from Naturena. Nkhatha spent two-and-a-half years with the Glamour Boys after signing from Black Leopards on July 1, 2012.

The 2015 edition of the Nedbank Cup has kicked off with the draw being conducted in Johannesburg last Thursday evening, with a few mouth watering clashes early on. Arguably the most notable of the first round clashes pits Absa Premiership rivals Bidvest Wits vs Free State Stars as well as Mpumalanga Black Aces vs Maritzburg United. Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs will wait to find out who they face as they host either African All Stars or Edu Sports FC, who are yet to play for a spot in the last 32, while defending champions Orlando Pirates host a Jerry Skhosana-coached outfit in Tornado FC.

The full Nedbank Cup Last 32 fixtures read as follows:
Bellvue Winners Park v Vasco Da Gama
Bidvest Wits v Free State Stars
AmaZulu v Golden Arrows
Mpumalanga Black Aces v Maritzburg United
Orlando Pirates v Tornado FC
University of Pretoria v Moroka Swallows
Mamelodi Sundowns v Thanda Royal Zulu
SuperSport United v Polokwane City
African Warriors v Maluti FET College
Black Leopards v FC Cape Town
Bloemfontein Celtic v North West Shining Stars/Roses United
Chippa United v Natal United
Phiva Young Stars v Jomo Cosmos
Kaizer Chiefs v African All Stars/Edu Sports FC
Platinum Stars v The Magic FC
Mainstay United v Ajax Cape Town

Jerry Sikhosana says his Tornado FC side won't do Orlando Pirates any favours in the Nedbank Cup, but they also "won't inflict too much pain" if they win. Sikhosana, famous for his winning goal in the 1995 African Champions Cup that earned the star above the Pirates badge, will face his former team in the last 32 of the national cup. "It’s a strange one because I will be coming home, but with the away side. I’m a massive supporter of Orlando Pirates so it will be a difficult game. If I lose people will say that I am doing them [Pirates] favours, but if I win, I also need to make sure we don’t inflict too much pain," 'Legs of Thunder' tells Pirates club's website. "I’m bringing a group of kasi boys from East London and it will be wonderful for them. Most of them support Pirates, even my chairman is a fan so he is also very excited. We know that this will be a big test. I just hope the guys give a great account of themselves in this game."

AmaZulu have received a boost after Marc van Heerden and John Arwuah returned to training with the squad. Both players missed a chunk of the first half of the season with knee injuries, with Van Heerden's problem having troubled him for some time in his career.

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt says they will be signing Fikru Lemessa. "I'm taking Fikru. I
have to. He is free and we are going to sign free players. He will add fight. If you want to go to Africa this is the player you want to go with. "He is a soldier, he will fight and kick he knows what to do and that's one of the reasons. He can also help us balance the strikers we got here." Lemessa first arrived in the country in 2006 when he joined Orlando Pirates, and has also turned out for SuperSport United, Free State Stars, University of Pretoria and Milano United. He last featured in the Indian Super League for Atletico de Kolkata.

Chippa United have strengthened their defensive ranks with the acquisition of Cape Town All Stars right-back Kristopher Bergman. Bergman has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Chilli Boys, reports CapeTownFootball. "I never expected it to happen this quickly, but it’s been a lesson to myself, and hopefully to others that things can change in such a short space of time when you put in the hard work and dedication," says Bergman. "It is my second PSL contract, the first was at Santos, but I wasn’t able to reach the levels I wanted to due to injury. But I am very happy for this opportunity to play at the highest level. This was my goal.”

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt admits he is interested in signing Orlando Pirates winger Daine Klate, but says the stumbling block is the salary he is earning at Bucs. Hunt was speaking after the Nedbank Cup draw in Johannesburg last week, where his side were pitted against Free State Stars at home in the last 32. Klate's contract with Pirates is coming to an end in June and he has been linked with a move to either Wits or SuperSport United. "We can't afford him," Hunt said. "You guys in the media, I don't know if you know, the way things are going now … You heard about the Oupa Manyisa story and if that ever transpires … my God, I wouldn't want to know what that costs from both sides. It's an open market and people can do what they want. We can't compete in that market.” Hunt added: "As much as I want Daine, I would like to take him like Elias Pelembe and Anthony Laffor, but we will have to sell the franchise."

Bloemfontein Celtic CEO Khubulani Konco has revealed that the club will hold talks with Joel Mogorosi and a host of other players when they finish mid-season camp. The Botswana international is in the last six months of his contract with the club and the same goes for Malawian international Limbikani Mzava. Last week Mzava’s agent Walter Mokoena informed this website that there have been offers for the 22-year-old but no decision has been taken yet if he’ll stay at Celtic or not. Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco says that the players will be attending camp and once they return from the camp then contract talks with respective players will happen. “At the moment we are not talking about contracts with the players, we will be doing that once the players return from the camp,” Konco said. Meanwhile, last week Siwelele recalled Lerato Manzini from his loan spell with SuperSport United after he failed to make any impact at Matsatsantsa.

Orlando Pirates captain Oupa Manyisa is poised to join Mamelodi Sundowns this month. Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza and his Downs counterpart Patrice Motsepe are said to be currently discussing the transfer fee. The midfielder's agent Thabo Moloto is quoted as saying: "Currently the status is that the two presidents have met. And they are still negotiating the transfer fee. However, as things stands Manyisa will join Mamelodi Sundowns before the transfer window closes." Moloto added: “Look he is okay. He is happy because of what he has achieved at Orlando Pirates and it's not like is leaving Pirates without achieving nothing. He won back-to-back trebles under the tutelage of Rudolf 'Ruud' Krol and reached four finals. He's very excited to be joining Mamelodi Sundowns.” Manyisa has been with Bucs since 2008, and has made over 200 appearances for the Soweto giants.

Ajax Cape Town were beaten 4-1 by Bundesliga title contenders VfL Wolfsburg in a friendly at Cape Town Stadium last Wednesday night. Bas Dost struck twice for the visitors to go with goals from Ivica Olic and Daniel Caligiuri, while Tashreeq Morris headed home for Ajax, who defeated Dutch side PEC Zwolle 2-1 two weekends back.  Urban Warriors playmaker Keagan Dolly notably made his return off the bench following a lengthy spell out with a toe injury. The game, billed as the Turkish Airlines Friendship Cup, was played in honour of Wolfsburg midfielder Junior Malanda, who died in a car crash in Bielefeld two weeks back.

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has bought 40 000 tickets for the poor of the host country of the Africa Cup of Nations. President Nguema called other wealthy shareholders to do the same in a bid to make the tournament a success after the country stepped in to host the Nations Cup in place of Morocco. "Let those who have the means help the poor. Myself, I bought 40 000 tickets at a rate of 10 000 per region [four sites are hosting the event]. These tickets cost 500 FCFA [R10] which amounts to 20-million CFA francs [R415 000]," Nguema is quoted as saying by AFP. Equatorial Guinea needs fans to fill stadiums to bring money into state coffers, and the working day for civil servants has been cut by two hours on matchdays. In an show of solidarity, neighbours Gabon have offered 20 buses to be used to transport teams during the tournament. "This is our contribution to support Equatorial Guinea," said Gabonese sports minister Blaise Louembe. "We have a saying that when your neighbours are having a party the entire village is celebrating."

Roscoe Pietersen has completed his loan move to AmaZulu from SuperSport United having undergone his final medical tests on Friday. Amazulu also have an option to buy the player outright included in the deal. Pietersen, who can play across the back four or in defensive midfield, could be vital to Steve Barker’s side over the next few months as they seek to lift themselves up from the bottom of the Absa Premiership table. Pietersen has featured in seven games in all competitions for SuperSport this season and will be keen to get a lot more game time during his spell in Durban that will last until the end of the season.

Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango has completed the signing of his new three-year deal with Mamelodi Sundowns and is also in the club’s squad for the 2015 CAF Champions League. Sundowns have already submitted their squad for the Champions League to CAF, with Onyango amongst the goalkeepers. Onyango signed his new contract over the weekend following the team’s return from their mid-season mini-camp in Mpumalanga. According to his new deal, the 29-year-old will be at Sundowns until June 2018. Sundowns are expected to release their Champions League squad this week once they have put to bed all contract issues for players whose deals are due to run out in June.

Lebohang Mokoena has started new contract negotiations with Mamelodi Sundowns amid talk of a possible return to Orlando Pirates. Speculation has been doing the rounds that 'Cheeseboy' could make a sensational return to the Buccaneers. Mokoena started his career with Pirates and made over 60 appearances for the Sea Robbers before joining the Brazilians in 2009. Prosport International CEO Mike Makaab wouldn’t be drawn on speculation that Mokoena could return to Parktown. “There is no certainty at this stage [that Mokoena could join Pirates].” Mokoena’s contract with Sundowns is set to expire at the end of the season and since joining Downs the 28-year-old has made 89 appearance, scoring 11 goals.

Tshepo Gumede is on the verge of being confirmed as an Orlando Pirates player after rejecting a second contract offer from Platinum Stars. The defender has already turned down an offer from Mamelodi Sundowns, and has now also said no to a last-ditch attempt from Dikwena to keep him in Rustenburg. It is rumoured that Gumede has already signed a pre-contract with the Buccaneers and could be unveiled before the end of this week.  

The prize-money at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals will remain unchanged from the 2013 tournament, with the winners set to walk away with R17.4-million. The 16 finalists will share $10-million (R116-million) when the tournament ends on February 8 in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. According to CAF, the losing finalists will go away with $1-million (R11.6m) with the two semi-finalists banking $750 000 (R8.7m) each, while teams that reach the last eight will be handed $600 000 (R7m). Teams that finish third in each of the four groups will get $500 000 (R5.8m) with the least prize-money to be paid out standing at $400 000 (R4.65m) for the four teams finishing bottom in each of the groups. The prize-money paid out by CAF remains the same despite the fact that revenues for the continental mother body have improved. In comparison, Euro 2012 champions Spain were paid $27-million (R314m) out of the $245-million (R2.85-billion) tournament package while the CONMEBOL paid $7-million (R81.4m) to 2011 Copa America champions Uruguay. The Asian Football Confederation will pay $10-million (R116m) to be shared amongst the top three teams this year.

After two days of intense training at the Balfour Alexandra Football Club grounds, the Castle Lager Football Academy 23-man squad was selected. Coaches Neil Tovey and Phil Masinga assisted by Helman Mkhalele, together with Calvin Petersen and Thomas Nare, selected the 23 players who will continue in the academy camp until 2 February. The 45 players who were selected after months of scouting in the SAB Regional League and Varsity Football had two days to impress the coaches in the bid to make the final 23-man squad. Before naming the final 23, Tovey had some encouraging words to the talented youngsters who hope to one day play in the PSL. Tovey said: “We saw a lot of talent in these two days. We had a tough deliberation with the scouts on deciding which players should stay and which ones should go home. Some players stood out more than others, but at the end we had to make the hard decision. Those who did not make the final 23, your football career doesn’t end here, you must continue working hard.” The 23 players have a tough two weeks ahead of them as they will be taken through intense training methods and play friendly matches against PSL sides Bidvest Wits, SuperSport United, Mpumalanga Black Aces, Orlando Pirates and NFD side Highlands Park. The initiative aims to give young, talented amateur players aged between 18 and 21 exposure to the professional football setup and an opportunity to be scouted by PSL and NFD teams, and one day represent South Africa.

Castle Lager Football Academy final 23-man squad
Goalkeepers: Tshepo Sekgotla (Limpopo), Martin Mthimkhulu (KZN), Mpho Ndlovu (Gauteng)
Defenders: Tshepo Mathobela (North West), Thabang Mothogwane (Gauteng), Sello Mokhele (Free State), Zinzan Coetzee (Northern Cape), Happy Mashau (Mpumalanga), Lebogang Serache (North West), Pheko Rankonko (North West), Sifiso Nkosi (Gauteng)
Midfielders: Christoffer Balie (Northern Cape), Lonwabo Ngangalaza (Eastern Cape), Tshepo Mokhabi (Free State), Lloyed Mbumbe (KZN), Sheniel Benn (Eastern Cape), Bafana Dlamini (Mpumalanga), Sabelo Mtshali (KZN), Malesela Monama (Limpopo)
Strikers: Dawny Makgatho (Limpopo), Dylan O’Brain {Free State), Candy Khaukanani (Limpopo), Bongumusa Mabuza (Mpumalanga).

The South Africa U-20 team are on course to make the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Cup following a 3-1 victory over Tajikistan in St Petersburg, Russia on Sunday. Amajita got the goals through their captain Motjeka Madisha, Tshidiso Monamodi and Hashim Domingo, with their opponents pulling one back late on via a penalty from Abdurasul Rakhmonov. David Notoane's men, who started the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Lithuania on Saturday, will next play Kazakhstan on Tuesday (20 January). Amajita are using the 12-team competition to prepare for the CAF Under-20 Youth Championships, scheduled for March in Senegal.
Amajita XI: Sibongiseni Mkhize, Kabelo Seriba, Motjeka Madisha, Chaz Williams, Tebogo Moerane, Siphelele Luthuli, Tlotlo Leepile, Ricardo Lourenco, Hashim Domingo, Siyanda Ngubo, Tshepo Liphoko.

Orlando Pirates injury update: Orlando Pirates winger Daine Klate faces at least another week on the sidelines, while fullback Patrick Phungwayo is expected to resume training in 10 days. Klate is nursing a grade two tear to an abdominal muscle. Phungwayo strained his medial cruciate ligament at a Bafana Bafana training session in Johannesburg on December 30, ruling him out of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. Lennox Bacela, who damaged ligaments in his knee, and Maselaelo Seanago are also nursing knocks, with the latter facing a further month out with a fractured metatarsal. Meanwhile, central midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo has recovered from a hip problem.

University of Pretoria have won the race to sign defender Vukile Mngqibisa from Polokwane City. Mngqibisa was on the wanted-list of Free State Stars and Moroka Swallows but according to a source at AmaTuks, the player has agreed to join the Tshwane club on a three-year contract after a successful meeting. The 27-year-old was in the last six months of his contract and will now join AmaTuks at the start of next season.

Kaizer Chiefs lost 1-0 to German Bundesliga side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in a friendly at FNB Stadium on Friday night. Anthony Modeste's sweetly struck 70th-minute volley was enough to hand the Germans the result in a game they made the majority of the play. Hoffenheim dominated most of the first half but the home side did get back into the game towards the end of it, although failed to trouble Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann. The second half was disrupted by numerous changes on both sides, with Doctor Khumalo bringing on Siyabonga Nkosi, Ovidy Karuru and Katlego Mphela as new signing David Zulu remained on the bench.

Chiefs XI: Khune, Gaxa, Gould, Mashamaite, Mtsweni, Rusike, Bukenya, Maluleka, Lebese, Tshabalala, Mthembu
Hoffenheim XI: Baumann, Beck, Strobl, Bicakcic, Abraham, Schwegler, Polanski, Volland, Firmino, Elyounoussi, Szalai

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter says the friendly against Hoffenheim ticked all the boxes with regards to what he was looking for from the match.

Liam Jordan scored a solo break-away goal as the South African U17 Men’s National team played to a 1-1 draw with Bloemfontein Celtic in a friendly match at Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Amajimbos impressed in the first half as they created many opportunities in front of goal but failed to put the ball behind the net. Sibongakonke Mbatha alongside Jordan created many opportunities in the midfield although the striking pair could not punish the hosts.

SA players abroad: Thulani Serero tasted victory with Ajax Amsterdam, while Kamohelo Mokotjo and Ayanda Patosi were also in action for their respective clubs in Europe on the weekend.

Serero put his Bafana Bafana troubles behind him with a solid display as Ajax Amsterdam beat Groningen 2-0.
Mokotjo played for FC Twente in Sunday’s 3-1 away loss to old club Feyenoord as the Dutch league resumed after the festive season break. That would have stung.
Patosi played the full 90 minutes as Lokeren resumed their Belgian league campaign with a 1-1 home draw with Genk.
Travis turned out for new club Forfar Athletic in the Scottish third tier as they won 1-0 at home to Stenhousemuir to stay in second.
Goalkeeper Cann played for Port Talbot Town in Sunday’s 4-3 home win over Bala Town in the Welsh Premier League, the only game to survive the weather.
Jacobs played Berwick Rangers in the Scottish fourth tier as they were held 3-3 by Montrose, who scored an injury-time equaliser.

The South African-born trio saw their game for Scottish second-tier strugglers Livingston against Alloa Athletic called off due to heavy snow.