Local News - Issue 253

R.I.P Richard Henyekane
Free State Stars have offered their condolences following the death of striker Richard Henyekane in a car accident. Henyekane, 31, passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The former Bafana Bafana forward, who played in Ea Lla Koto's 1-0 loss at AmaZulu on Saturday, earned nine international caps, and also represented Mamelodi Sundowns and Golden Arrows. His brother Joseph Henyekane passed away in December last year at the age of 30, having also been on the books of Arrows, as well as Mpumalanga Black Aces and Bidvest Wits. Stars released a statement, which said: "Free State Stars hereby expresses its heartfelt condolences on the passing away of star striker Richard Henyekane in the early hours of this morning. Henyekane was travelling with four other passengers when they were involved in a tragic motor vehicle accident. He was, unfortunately the only one to lose his life in this incident. We wish to say to the Henyekane family that they must know that we are with them at all times, and trust that they will put all their sorrows in the hands of God the Almighty in this hard period. To the Stars family of fans, sponsors, supporters and others we believe that this is a period in which you will remain steadfast in the praying for Henyekane’s teammates as they come to terms with this sad moment. South African football has lost yet another one of our promising players... go well ’Kimberley Express’".

Kaizer Chiefs dominated for most of the match, but still crashed to a 2-0 defeat to Raja Casablanca as their CAF Champions League dreams went up in smoke. Having dominated but lost the first leg at FNB Stadium 1-0 a fortnight ago, it was much of the same in North Africa as Amakhosi wasted chance after chance, only for Raja to score twice late on through Osaguona. Stuart Baxter had made four changes to the side from that first leg, with Itumeleng Khune, Morgan Gould, George Lebese and Matthew Rusike coming into the side. Chiefs crashed out 3-0 on aggregate, meaning South Africa will have no representitives in the Champions League second round after Mamelodi Sundowns were also eliminated earlier in the day.

Sundowns were knocked out of the Champions League following a 3-2 aggregate defeat to DR Congo giants TP Mazembe. The Brazilians won the first leg in Tshwane 1-0, but a 3-1 defeat in Lubumbashi meant there would be no extended African campaign for Pitso Mosimane’s men. Teko Modise and Mzikayise Mashaba were the only changes to the side that won the first leg. 

Eric Tinkler had nothing but praise for his Orlando Pirates ‘soldiers’ following their 2-2 CAF Confederations Cup draw against URA in Kampala. The Buccaneers won 4-3 on aggregate after a 2-1 win in the first leg, and will now face Gabon’s CF Mounana in the second round. Upon arrival at OR Tambo, Tinkler had nothing but praise for his players in difficult conditions. “I was very impressed and, like I said, they were soldiers out there. The pitch wasn't great; in fact it was difficult and didn’t suit our style of play. But the players adapted well and what was important was to come away with the result, which we achieved.”

Ajax Cape Town attacking midfielder Erwin Isaacs says his good form for the team is down to experience and his familiarity with coach Roger de Sa. The former Santos player scored against Platinum Stars on Saturday night as the Urban Warriors went down 2-1. "Ja, first I wanna thank God for that performance and guiding me through the game for 90 minutes," Isaacs said. "[The reason for my good form is] because by Santos I used to play under coach Roger [de Sa] and he give me the freedom and that, but the style of Ajax, I fit in nice, so for me it's just to work hard and to score goals." The 28-year-old, who has scored three goals this season, is one of the more senior players at Ajax and enjoyed the responsibility against Stars. Ja, that is my experience because experience counts. Now you playing with youngsters now you must push them, motivate them," he added. "Like first half, second half, if you don't take your chances, I told them, they gonna punish us. Like now if we had to score that chance, we win 2-1, now we must defend defend they get a chance they score, they punish us."

It has been reported that the reason Tefu Mashamaite has not signed a new contract with Kaizer Chiefs has nothing to do with the length of his contract, but money. According to initial reports, Mashamaite rejected Chiefs’ initial offer because he was given a one-year extension. “No, the one-year extension story is not true. The player has been offered a two-year deal with an option for another year, so he is happy with that. But the one thing that they haven’t sorted out yet is the money issue,” a source has revealed. “Once they have an agreement in terms of the figures then the player will sign. He is more than willing to stay at Chiefs, but remember he is an important player for the club and his salary must be in line with that.  I hear the club’s management had a meeting yesterday and it is only a matter of time before they get back to his agent [Jazzman Mahlakgane] to finalise it,” he added. The 30-year-old’s current deal expires at the end of June.

Struggling First Division club Garankuwa United have snapped up former Orlando Pirates defender Felix Mwamba-Musasa as they desperately try to avoid relegation. The 32-year-old, famous for playing with wedding gloves during his time at Pirates, has signed a deal until the end of the season along with ex-Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic midfielder Sici Shelembe. Mwamba-Musasa – who is of Congolese descent – last played in the professional ranks for Mpumalanga Black Aces almost three years ago and had gone into semi-retirement before being brought back by the Tshwane-based club. Meanwhile, Garankuwa have also confirmed that they are still waiting for the issuing of their new Zambian coach Patrick Milaso’s work-permit. Milaso was brought in almost two months ago but is yet to sit on the bench, with Gabriel Ngondwane continuing as caretaker coach.

Swedish second division side Gais have confirmed the signing of South Africa’s U-20 midfielder Pule Maraisane on a one-year deal with an option for another year. The 20-year-old, who was developed at the Stars of Africa academy which also groomed the likes of May Mahlangu and Tokelo Rantie, was recommended to Gais by former Helsingborgs coach Bo Nilsson. Maraisane was part of the Amajita squad that participated in the African Youth Championship in Senegal last month, and was previously on the books of Portuguese side Tourizenze FC. Gais sports director Jonas Lunden is confident Maraisane will make his mark. “We have seen the videos of Pule in three matches and we are confident that he will be a great asset for us,” Lunden said.

Bafana Bafana have been drawn against Mauritius in the 2016 African Nations Championships qualifiers. The finals will take place in Rwanda next year, with South Africa having hosted the last instalment, which was won by Libya. Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba insists that Bafana will have to be at their best to progress. “We must prepare well; no team can be treated lightly anymore, that is how football has evolved,” he said. Only players based in their country are able to represent their nation at Chan.
Zimbabwe v Comoros
Lesotho v Botswana
Namibia v Zambia
Mozambique v Seychelles
South Africa v Mauritius
Swaziland v Angola

Nyasha Mushekwi has officially signed for Swedish club Djurgardens. The Zimbabwean striker has been on trial at the club since February 25, and has now penned a short-term loan deal until the end of the season in August. “Everything is ready. The contract has been signed by both parties. We are now waiting on the South African Football Association to approve the transition,” Djurgardens sporting director Bosse Andersson said. Mushekwi has said he is hoping to win a long-term contract. “It's been fantastic. It's different from what I'm used to, but in a great way. I talk to everyone in the team and everyone takes care of me well. Even the food here is good. It's just the weather that is a little cold, but I have heard that it gets better,” he said. “I hope there will be more. In the end it is not me who decides but I will love to stay here. It is my desire, I will do my best to make it so… I hope to help the team, that's my main goal,” he added. Mushekwi last played for Sundowns in the 2012/13 season and spent last campaign on loan at Belgian side KV Oostende.

SA players abroad round-up: Ayanda Patosi got the better of Andile Jali, Dean Furman's promotion hopes took strain, while Kamohelo Mokotjo endured a tough day in the office in European action on the weekend.
Patosi laid on both goals for Lokeren as they defeated Jali's KV Oostende 2-1 in the UEFA Europa League playoffs. Patosi came off late on. 
Furman skipped international duty to remain fresh for Doncaster Rovers’ crucial League One tie with Bradford City, but they lost 3-0 to likely end their hopes of promotion.
Mokotjo started for FC Twente as they were humbled 5-0 by PSV Eindhoven, though the home side were holding some players back for Tuesday’s Dutch Cup semi-final against PEC Zwolle.
All played for Livingston as they picked up some silverware with a 4-0 victory in the Scottish Challenge Cup Final over Alloa Athletic.
Started for third-tier Colchester United as they won 2-1 at Port Vale to boost their survival hopes.
Ngcongca played for Genk as they won 1-0 at home to Zulte-Waregem to get their UEFA Europa League playoff campaign off to a positive start
Came on late as Orebro got their Swedish League season underway with a 1-1 draw with Norrkoping.
Was on the bench for Everton’s 1-0 home win over Southampton, the first time he has appeared in the match day for The Toffees since their loss to the same opposition in late December.
Started for Ajax Amsterdam in their 1-1 draw with Utrecht.
Scored in the season-opening 3-1 win for USA second-tier side Carolina Railhawks over Ottawa Fury.