2015-05-28 06:00

I AM glad there is a lot of work that is going on behind the scenes in honouring the late former Real Taj Mahal Hotel, Real Taj FC boss, well-established businessman and a local politician of note.

I admired everything about the Chetty brothers - Pops and Nine. There were very outspoken, successful businessmen, humble, down to earth and yet always looked after thecommunities.

Pops was not just politically minded, but was a true politician, well versed and changed a lot of things in the local circles through sport and his political involvement.

He was hands-on with local issues that affected his community and was not scared to tackle the old apartheid government head-on.

The family’s local professional soccer team, Real Taj, that was affiliated with the old SA Football Federation League and later to National Soccer League (NSL), was a also a true tool of democracy and genuine struggle.

It was proved when soccer organisations of different racial groups in SA soccer like PFL, NPSL, and the old so-called white league, finally came together to form one democratic body. PFL had sides such as Santos, Taj, Maritzburg United, Cape Town Spurs and others.

The NPSL had SA crowd pullers like Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows LTD, AmaZulu, just to name a few.

The old White League (excuse the pun) had hard tackling and no-nonsense teams such as Wits University, Arcardia Shepperds, Highlands Park, Lusitano, Durban City and many more.

When the different racial groups joined forces under one NSL banner, it was impossible and difficult to accommodate all the affiliates from these organisations, but the local Real Taj FC was one of the teams that made the cut.

You may ask why. The so-called SA’s big-wigs or influential figures such as Cyril Kobus, Kaizer Motaung, George Thabe, Abdul Bhamjee, Goolam Allie, Norman Elliot, Eddie Lewis, Coloured Passmore and other heavyweights, were aware of his capabilities.

All these guys knew that Chetty was going to challenge them from all angles, legally, financially and politically.

It is unfortunate that when Pops Chetty died a lot of so- called soccer big-wigs, political stalwarts, community members, former employees and players that played for Taj failed to give him a proper send off.

It is also heart-breaking that nowadays some politicians, local soccer administrators and businessmen from his neighbourhood still speak volumes about him and yet some of them, or maybe the majority of them, failed him.

As an active comrade, I am aware that most political organisations only want you and admire you when you are fit, volunteering for them or able to fund them, but as soon as you unable to render your service for various reasons, you are forgotten.

Next year our country will be voting for local government representatives and a lot of people will suddenly blow their own trumpets, but as soon as they are elected, they will forget everything they promised during their campaigns.

FLet me salute all the guys who are involved in putting together a soccer tournament to honour Pops Chetty.

All the best guys and I hope and will pray hard to see potential sponsors, funders, partners and especially the government departments coming on board.

Chetty deserves the best

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