Local News - Issue 293

Khumalo’s A Clever Boy

Bidvest Wits have completed the signing of Bongani Khumalo. Wits were in talks with the former Bafana Bafana captain, who recently terminated his contract with SuperSport United. The Clever Boys have now confirmed the centre-back's capture. Club boss Jose Ferreira said: "Bongani is a quality player with whom both coach Gavin Hunt and I have worked with before and won league titles at SuperSport United. "He will, undoubtedly bring immense value and experience to our squad and I have no doubt that his stay with us will be a huge success." Khumalo has reunited with Wits coach Gavin Hunt, having won three consecutive Absa Premiership titles together at Matsatsantsa from 2007 to 2010. The 29-year-old returned to SuperSport at the beginning of the season after a four-year spell with English giants Tottenham Hotspur. 

SuperSport United striker Phumelele Bhengu has requested a loan move from the club to gain game-time. The 26-year-old was the top scorer in the National First Division last term with 22 goals for Thanda Royal Zulu. However, Bhengu has only made four substitute appearances in the League this season for Matsatsantsa. “Bhengu has been unlucky at the moment and remember I had Kingston Nkhatha out suspended, I got Dove Wome and playing him out of position at the moment because of injuries to certain players,” says United coach Gordon Igesund. “But I think 'Ace' needs a bit of playing time. He asked me if I can get him a club where he can get game-time. “I think he has got a bright future ahead of him but it has been tough at the moment. Jeremy Brockie is scoring goals as you can see, Bradley Grobler is doing well and Kingston Nkhatha. So he hasn’t been getting that much regular time to play. He played four or five times and he hasn’t disappointed me. “But he just needs to play games and let's see what we can do for him.” 

Ajax Cape Town stalwart Granwald Scott says he intends giving his all to ensure that he lands a permanent contract after his trial with Slovan Bratislava FC. The 28-year-old midfielder is currently on a 10-day assessment with the Slovakian Super League side and says the weather is in stark contrast to South Africa and much colder, but at least it’s not snowing. “I’m here to put my head down and give a 100 percent,” says Scott. “This is an opportunity I have been waiting for for a long time and hopefully it pays off, God willing.” Bratislava are currently in their pre-season.

Forgotten striker Excellent Walaza has joined hands with emerging player management company Bright Talent as he seeks to revive his faded career at struggling NFD club Moroka Swallows. The 28-year-old started training with Swallows last week and according to Bright Talent CEO Lefa Tsutsulupa, he will continue training with the Birds this week as he presses on with improving his physical condition. The former youth international last played for the now-defunct Atlie FC in the First Division during the 2011/12 campaign before disappointingly disappearing from the face of professional football. Walaza broke through in the PSL with a substitute appearance for Orlando Pirates during the 2005/06 season and became a forward of note at the club before he fell out of favour, leading to loan moves to SuperSport United, Bloemfontein Celtic and Vasco da Gama. At his prime he won two Bafana Bafana caps and also played for all the junior national teams.

Bloemfontein Celtic coach Serame Letsoaka has ruled out making any signings in the ongoing transfer window save for a potential deal for trialist Keamogetse Wolff. Letsoaka only joined Celtic in December and wants to assess his squad before considering delving in the market.  Meanwhile, Letsoaka revealed defender Mthokozisi Dube faces six weeks on the sidelines after injuring his shoulder in a 2-2 draw with Ajax Cape Town at Cape Town Stadium on Friday night. 

National First Division campaigners Thanda Royal Zulu have completed the signing of Siyabonga Shoyisa and Marothi Diale. Shoyisa joins on a deal running up to the end of the season having been forced to dump the financially troubled Moroka Swallows. Shoyisa spent six months at Swallows after being surprisingly transfer-listed by University of Pretoria in June despite starting 26 league games last season. Diale arrives at Thanda after becoming surplus to requirements at Platinum Stars. He has signed for 18 months. Thembinkosi Biyela, the club’s general manager, confirms the new signings, adding that they have also recruited Menzi Dlamini. “Shoyisa has joined up to the end of the season while Diale has signed for 18 months. We also have Menzi Dlamini who is originally from the Orlando Pirates development but has also played for Jomo Cosmos and Mpumalanga Black Aces,” says Biyela. 

AmaZulu have confirmed the signing of veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvete. 'Bhele' has penned a six-month deal with the Durban-based outfit from fellow National First Division side Moroka Swallows. It was recently reported that Nomvete was poised to join Usuthu due to the Dube Birds' financial challenges.  "We're pleased to announce the signing of the experienced Siyabonga 'Bhele' Nomvete who joins on a six-month deal," AmaZulu announced on Twitter on Sunday evening. Nomvete has netted three goals in 12 appearances in the second tier this season, while he is the Premier Soccer League's all-time leading scorer with 119 goals. The 38-year-old spent the past six-and-a-half years with Swallows after returning to South Africa from a stint in Denmark. 

Mamelodi Sundowns captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele was rushed to hospital after he twisted his ankle in their goalless draw with Kaizer Chiefs last Saturday evening. Downs and Chiefs played out to a 0-0 stalemate, despite an entertaining encounter, at the FNB Stadium that saw both side miss numerous clear-cut chances in front of goal. However, bad news for the Brazilians is that Mphahlele suffered what may be a serious ankle injury and was rushed to hospital immediately after the game. Mosimane also ruled out any problems he may have to replace the skipper in their next match against Tshwane rivals University of Pretoria this coming Saturday.  This comes as a great setback to 'Rama', who has been an ever-present for the Brazilians since last season, after just recently reaching a career milestone of 50 consecutive starts for his club. The ankle injury comes shortly after a thigh strain, which also kept the 25-year-old out of the Telkom Knockout final towards the end of last year. 

Chippa United have agreed to release midfielder Mark Mayambela to Supersport United during the current transfer window period. It is said that Mayambela has signed a three-and-half-year deal with Matsantsantsa. “A great deal of gratitude to the Chippa United family, my stay at the club was a blessing, as short as it was. I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity and support shown in me,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It wasn't an easy decision, but one that I had thought of for my future and my family's well-being. I am wishing the team all the best in their future endeavours, hoping they will finish in a respected position,” he concluded.  

Mpumalanga Black Aces have finally managed to register Bryce Moon with the PSL. Moon was signed back in November after terminating his contract with Mamelodi Sundowns earlier that month. He was however unable to feature for his new club right away due to the fact that the termination of his contract with the Brazilians wasn’t a matter settled via the PSL DRC, which meant he couldn’t be registered with the League as he had moved clubs outside the transfer window. Sundowns had also registered him with the League for this season despite the fact that they went on not to use him. With the January transfer window now open, the 29-year-old has been registered. The former Bafana Bafana international last played competitive football last season while on loan at Platinum Stars. 

Platinum Stars are keen to keep Mahlatse Makudubela at the club amid reports linking the midfielder to Orlando Pirates. Makudubela's contract with the Rustenburg-based outfit will expire at the end of the season, with Bucs rumoured to be eyeing the 25-year-old. However, Dikwena general manager Senzo Mazingiza says talks are ongoing with Makudubela regarding a new deal. Mazingiza downplayed the talk linking Makudubela with Pirates. Makudubela was a key player for Stars last season but has only made four League starts under coach Cavin Johnson this campaign.

Pape Abdoulaye N'Daw could become Ajax Cape Town’s first acquisition of 2016 should they decide to offer him a permanent contract. The 22-year-old Senegalese striker is currently the only trialist at Ikamva. A close source reveals that at this stage it is too early to say whether the 1.89-metre targetman will strike a deal with the Urban Warriors. Ajax coach Roger de Sa said at the team’s first press conference of the year at Cape Town Stadium that he was quite impressed with the physicality of N'Daw. N'Daw played for Dynamo Bucharest in the Romanian League in 2013 and also had a stint with Simba Sports Club in Tanzania. He last represented Niary Tally in Senegal before making the move to South Africa. The player had an assessment at Bidvest Wits about a year ago.

Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen has confirmed the signing of defender Giulio Giuricich and is pleased to strengthen his backline. It was revealed back in November that the former Moroka Swallows left-back had started training with Arrows with the view to a deal while Serame Letsoaka was still in charge. The 25-year-old is set to slot straight into the starting line-up against Free State Stars on Saturday as Arrows are short of numbers in the left-back position, with Thembela Sikhakhane suspended. “That’s right yes, we have completed the deal for Giuricich,” says Larsen. “I wasn’t part of the contract negotiations and that was between the club's management and the player, but I know that they were finalising everything and you will probably get that information from them. But I think as of today he should be ready and available to play.” Giuricich, who played nine matches in all competitions for Swallows last season, tried his luck earlier this season at Mamelodi Sundowns but saw his move fall through. The South African of Italian descent is believed to have signed a short-term deal until the end of the season with an option to renew. Arrows are expected to add a few more players to their squad during this transfer window but Larsen would not be drawn to reveal the names of his targets. 

Jomo Cosmos have completed the signing of former AmaZulu and Polokwane City defender Luyanda Hlongwa. The 28-year-old was registered with the PSL last Friday. Hlongwa has become the second player to sign with Cosmos during the current transfer window period after Luyolo Nomandela finally joined from Mamelodi Sundowns. Ezenkosi are also currently assessing Malawian midfielder John Banda with the view to signing him. Cosmos boss Jomo Sono confirms the capture of Hlongwa.  “Yes, we have signed Hlongwa and Banda is training with us,” Sono says. “We are free to assess any player [during this transfer window].” 

Zambian defender Davies Nkausu has completed his move to Free State Stars. It was revealed back in November that Nkausu was training with Stars and also reported the receipt of his clearance from Bloemfontein Celtic last month after he settled his dispute. The Chipolopolo centre-back has now signed with Ea Lla Koto until the end of the season. The 30-year-old’s business manager Glyn Binkin confirms his client's move to Bethlehem. “He has signed for six months with the option of another year,” says Binkin.

Bafana Bafana have dropped two spots to 74th in the latest world rankings, released by FIFA last week Thursday. South Africa also fell one place in Africa to 17th after being overtaken by Zambia. AFCON champions Ivory Coast are the highest ranked nation on the continent, ahead of the likes of Algeria, Ghana, Cape Verde Islands and Tunisia. Globally there were no changes to the top 22 nations, with Belgium, Argentina, Spain, world champions Germany and Copa America holders Chile completing the top five.

Jomo Cosmos have completed the signing of midfielder Luyolo Nomandela and he has already been officially registered with the PSL. Nomandela missed out on being registered with the PSL during the August transfer window period last year after his clearance letter from Mamelodi Sundowns arrived too late for registration. The former Free State Stars midfielder has joined Ezenkosi on loan from Sundowns until the end of the season. Cosmos boss Jomo Sono confirms that they have finally registered Nomandela, who is now available for selection.  Ezenkosi, who are lying in 14th position on the log, face the University of Pretoria in a league match at the Tuks Stadium on Saturday. 

AmaZulu have re-signed wingback S'busiso Hadebe in their quest to return to the PSL next season. Hadebe left the club in 2011 for neighbouring Golden Arrows. He then joined Platinum Stars on a two-year deal in July 2013 but now finds himself back in Durban. Usuthu coach Steve Barker says more signings will be announced in the next 48 hours. "We made a few signings and we welcome 'Mphasha' and we are very excited. But we're still going to add four or five players in our squad," said Barker. Hadebe netted five goals in 46 starts for AmaZulu. Meanwhile, the National First Division side have added Thahir Ganga from Glen Eagles in the ABC Motsepe League and Mohamed Patel from Cape Town All Stars to their roster. Samuel Dapour is also back with the team after work permit issues forced him to return to Ghana.

Free State Stars have offered midfielder Katlego Mashego a contract renewal but the player is not rushing to sign on the dotted line as yet. The 29-year-old, who was named Stars' Footballer of the Year last season, has been a mainstay at the club since joining from National First Division side Baroka FC in 2011.  Mashego's current contract is set to run out at the end of this season, and the player's representative Lizwe Mthethwa of AFTERSEC Sport Group has revealed that the player has been offered a new contract. However, Mthethwa adds that there have been other clubs who have shown interest in his client's services, and that he could still leave the Bethlehem-based side. Mashego has started all 13 competitive games for Ea Lla Koto so far this season  and has notched over 100 apperances for the club, while netting eight goals. Stars, who recently appointed Giovanni Solinas to replace Ernst Middendorp, are currently 10th on the Absa Premiership table and just one point away from a top eight place. Solinas, who is the first Italian mentor to coach in the PSL era, will start his tenure at home against Golden Arrows this Saturday.

Out-of-favour Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Lindokuhle Mbatha will definitely be leaving the club this month with negotiations well underway regarding his departure. Mbatha has battled for game time at Sundowns since joining during the winter of 2014 and is actually yet to play this season which has prompted the powers that be at Chloorkop into agreeing that the 30-year-old be allowed to leave. The only matter being discussed for now is his destination with Platinum Stars and the University of Pretoria both said to have apparently shown interest in a loan deal running up to the end of the season. Sundowns’ decision to allow Mbatha to leave is based on the fact that the club feels they have enough options in attacking positions on either flank. Word is that meetings have been on-going for a while now regarding Mbatha’s situation at the club which can only be solved by way of moving out during the current transfer window period.