‘OJ’ turned away at Arrows

2011-07-05 00:00

AFTER Lamontville Golden Arrows decided against signing Mbulelo “Old John” Mabizela last week it remains to be seen where the former Bafana Bafana skipper will find a new home.

The Witness has learnt that Arrows boss Mato Madlala turned away Mabizela when he arrived at the club’s offices last week.

“Yes, it is true Mbulelo came to our offices with a view to meeting the chairperson, but he was turned away,” said a source. Mabizela’s well documented off-the-field behaviour is said to be the main reason.

Maritzburg United chairperson Farouk Kadodia is known to be an admirer of the Pietermaritzburg-born defender, but he has also dispelled rumours that he is interested in signing the talented, yet wayward player.

Mabizela is a free agent after Platinum Stars let him go after two seasons. He had joined them from Mamelodi Sundowns, where his stay was blighted by controversy.

He was suspended for six months after being found guilty of using a banned substance.

Before that he had dazzled Orlando Pirates and earned a dream move to English Premiership side Tottenham Hotspur, but was soon transferred to Norway before returning home.

With Siyabonga Sangweni having signed for Pirates, which was initially Mabizela’s rumoured destination, it remains to be seen where will the player end up.

Meanwhile, Diyo Sibisi has been reunited with Maritzburg after his intended move to Kaizer Chiefs failed.

The stocky striker was on loan to Maritzburg from Ajax Cape Town, who have put him on transfer. The Cape Town club wants R1,5 million for Sibisi and negotiations for a transfer are understood to be under way.

However, Maritzburg will be without the ability of midfielder John Arwuah, who moves to SuperSport United.

While Arrows are not interested in Mabizela, they have been busy in the transfer window.

Long-serving Arrows defensive midfielder Thanduyise Khuboni has backed club boss Madlala’s decision to venture into the market and rope in experienced players.

Madlala, known as the Iron Lady, has raised eyebrows by splashing out with her chequebook, signing established campaigners like Orlando Pirates duo Katlego Mashego and Gert Schalkwyk, and winger Dillon Sheppard.

Mashego and Schalkwyk joined the coastal side in a swap deal that saw defender Siyabonga Sangweni going in the opposite direction.

The straight-talking boss last season startled diehard Arrows supporters by signing former Kaizer Chiefs, Bloemfontein Celtic and SuperSport United midfielder Siyabonga Nkosi and Zambian hitman Collins Mbesuma.

Never in the history of the Lamontville-based outfit had so much money been spent on players.

However, Khuboni has defended the management’s decision in signing the players, saying, “Look, it’s been a while that the club has been campaigning in the Premiership and for a club that have a rich history and are renowned for their entertaining, cultured football, it’s a disgrace that we only have one cup [MTN8] to show.

“By bringing in these experienced campaigners, sis Mato wants us to challenge for honours. And I believe she has made astute signings, looking at the kind of football we play and these players’ style.”

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