Pressing Issues: Sun rises again for Motsepe’s Brazilians

2013-10-14 10:00

Has Patrice Motsepe finally found his man?

This is a question on many lips as Mamelodi Sundowns show the kind of form they seem to have been missing.

Their impressive start to the season – they are occupying second spot on the log and are preparing to face red-hot Platinum Stars in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinal on Saturday – have reminded many of a certain period in the 1980s.

This was when a certain Zola Mahobe came out of nowhere and turned a then unfashionable Sundowns into a mean, sleek, all-conquering machine.

They bulldozed everyone in their way and, for a brief moment, eclipsed the three Soweto giants – Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows – who had previously been the dominant force in South African football.

Sundowns’ panache on the field and their fashion off the field, as well as their attractive “shoeshine and piano” system devised by one Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala saw them become the in thing, the darlings, the envy of Mzansi football.

Their The Sky is the Limit war cry and their gesture of pointing their fingers to the sky soon became more popular than Pirates’ skull and crossbones sign and Chiefs’ Peace and Love slogan, with their V for Victory finger gesture.

When Mahobe took the entire team, along with their wives and girlfriends, to watch the 1986 FA Cup final in England, following a successful season, their position as the leading club in the country was sealed.

But alas, just as in Chinua Achebe’s classic, Things Fall Apart, the joyride soon came to an abrupt end.

Mahobe and his girlfriend committed audacious bank fraud and both of them ended up in jail.

When mining magnate Motsepe doled out millions to buy the club from the Tsichlas family, many thought the good ol’ days were back.

But alas! It was not to be.

Now it seems that in former Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane, Motsepe has found his own Screamer Tshabalala.

What Tshabalala did then was put together an unbeatable squad as he signed players from all corners of the country and some parts of the continent.

This is the same route Mosimane has followed.

While he has been criticised for bringing in more foreign players, he has defended his actions by saying all the players he has signed are not just ordinary foreigners but fully fledged internationals.

No one can argue with that and, as the old adage goes, the results speak for themselves. One just hopes it is not too early to start singing the praises of Mamelodi Sundowns, but the club seems to be on the right track to bringing in that longed-for silverware once again. As we welcome summer, chances are that when you see somebody singing in the rain, it will be a “Bafana ba style” supporter. Will Sundowns win the league this season? why?

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