Owner denies neglect

2017-03-22 06:05
Sandile Tshabalala is all smiles in his bed in the Pelonomi Hospital.           Photo: Teboho Setena

Sandile Tshabalala is all smiles in his bed in the Pelonomi Hospital. Photo: Teboho Setena

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The owner of the amateur team Diyatalawa FC, Mojalefa Radebe, has rejected the perception of neglecting and abandoning the paralysed player Sandile Tshabalala.

This perception arose after Radebe did not visit the player at the Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein for almost six months after the player was admitted to hospital following the car accident that left him paralysed.

“Work commitment prevented me from making time to personally visit Tshabalala,” said Radebe in reaction to the allegations of neglect and abandonment.

“However, I do communicate with him constantly and I have also delegated the club coach to visit the player and give me feedback on his progress.”

Radebe said he has not cut ties with the player following the tragic accident.

“I have also made contact with his family and we are on speaking terms,” he said.

Radebe confirmed that Tshabalala was indeed registered with his Diyatalawa FC team, which currently campaigns in the third-tier division of the Thabo Mofu­tsanyana region’s SAB League stream.

Tshabalala joined Radebe’s team after he left Mpumalanga, where he had played for another team in the second-tier league.

Radebe said he has made arrangements to personally visit Tshabalala, adding he was supporting the player where necessary.

The paralysed player said at the time of his accident he had just got temporary employment in Harrismith.

With the income he earned, he was providing for his son and mother, who both live in Mpumalanga.

Tshabalala (25) was paralysed in October last year after the car he was travelling in overturned on the way home to Harrismith after they had played a league fixture against a team from Qwaqwa.

He was one of the two severely injured casualties.

A week ago, Dr Danny Jordaan, president of the South African Football Association (Safa), paid Tshabalala a special visit. Jordaan had been accompanied by federation officials from Mangaung and the Lejweleputswa regions.

“I’m on the mend and feel much better. At first I could not see or hear people, it was just dark.

“The support I’m receiving from family, the medical team and officials of the federation is certainly good.

“I’m encouraged by the support of Safa. I’m able to move my hands and I am improving gradually,” said Tshabalala.

Jordaan said that additional support from the federation towards Tshabalala would come in the form of an insurance payment.

“We have a policy that covers all the players in this country.

“We as the federation are there to support. To the parents, we are very thankful for giving us your children to play football and for giving them encouragement.

“The association has the responsibility, because our players come from homes and areas where resources are few. It is a challenge to pay for medical care and put food on the table.

“As the association, we will do whatever we can to support players in their various situations,” said Jordaan.

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