Manqoba Mngqithi: Heir to the Sundowns Throne?

Amidst reported tension between Mamelodi Sundown’s Sporting Director Flemming Berg and head coach Rhulani Mokwena, speculation swirls about the future leadership of the club.

SBN delves into the media archives to get the latest on the natural heir to the throne – the current senior coach Manqoba Mngqithi

READ:  Mamelodi Sundowns and Coach Rhulani Mokwena Eye Potential Split

Mngqithi’s contract expired in June 2024.  He was previously linked with a move to Kaizer Chiefs, which wouldn’t be surprising considering his trophy haul.  He’s secured league titles under both Pitso Mosimane, as co-coach with Mokwena, and most recently under Mokwena’s sole leadership.

During the past season, Mngqithi’s agent, Mike Makaab, addressed the rumors to SABC Sport: “There’s been absolutely no formal approach.”

He acknowledged the media frenzy, stating, “There’s smoke, there’s probably fire,” but emphasized Mngqithi’s professionalism. He assured that any developments would be discussed internally first.

“But, from our side, and I can only talk to you as Manqoba’s representative, he’s an incredibly professional person, softly spoken. If there is anything to be said, I can assure you that Manqoba and I will meet first and then we will go forward from that point onwards.

“Honestly, as it stands right now Manqoba is contracted to Sundowns until 30 June next year and he has full intentions of honouring his contract.

“I’ve said this before, Manqoba is contracted to Mamelodi Sundowns until 30 June 2024, so he has another season at the club. “He is happy at Sundowns, and unless there is a change of heart. As it stands, Manqoba will be with Mamelodi Sundowns in the new season.”

More recently, on Gagasi FM, Makaab confirmed Mngqithi’s contentment at Sundowns but indicated ongoing contract renewal discussions.  He expressed hope for a resolution within the next few weeks.

During an interview with Ayanda Nyuswa in March 2024, Makaab said, “Manqoba is happy at the club, we have said this all along, and now it depends on us coming to an agreement with the club to extend his contract,”

“It’s still early days as far as the negotiations are concerned, but I am hoping that within the next 7 to 14 days, so within the next couple of weeks we will have more clarity on Manqoba’s future.”

While a contract renewal seems likely, Mngqithi might retain the “senior coach” title. This could preserve the current dynamic or grant Mokwena greater responsibility. Regardless of immediate promotion, Mngqithi’s experience positions him well for the future, especially if Mokwena’s reign falls short of expectations.