Talented Mabizela could face the axe after training no-show

2009-01-01 00:00

PRETORIA — Mbulelo “OJ” Mabizela’s future at Mamelodi Sundowns appears to have come to an end as sources within the club reveal that president Patrice Motsepe is almost certain to terminate the talented but wayward defender’s contract this week.

And Mabizela, facing a drunk driving charge and in trouble at Downs for going awol once this season already, is alleged to have compounded an already volatile situation by missing the club’s opening-day training session after the festive break.

Sources within the club have concluded that this was the last straw and the defender will most certainly be shown the door by a fed-up Motsepe once the president returns from a business trip in Europe this week.

Due to appear in court in Pietermaritzburg on a drunk driving charge this month, Mabizela is said to have angered Motsepe beyond the point of reconciliation for failing to report for duty on Monday.

“I am not too sure about the exact details,” said an anonymous source. “But failing to report for duty on Monday is considered akin to lifting the middle finger to the president.

“It was hoped that the club’s medical team would be able to assess Mabizela and give an informed opinion about his readiness to resume training or whether his rehabilitation [from injury] should be extended. I hear that his contract could be terminated, which would be sad really considering how talented the player is.”

Already skating on thin ice after his off-the-field misdemeanors led to a hefty fine and suspension, Mabizela is said to be currently earning about 20% of his salary as the club attempts to give him a wake-up call to start taking his career seriously.

But this does not seem to have had any effect on the player, and Motsepe, known for his attempts to maintain the same corporate governance at Sundowns that he has applied successfully in business, has come to the end of his tether.

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