The Iron Duke with a soft heart

THE BOSS Pirates chairman Dr Irvin Khoza announcing Siyabonga Sangweni’s retirement at the Rand Stadium. Picture: Trevor Kunene
THE BOSS Pirates chairman Dr Irvin Khoza announcing Siyabonga Sangweni’s retirement at the Rand Stadium. Picture: Trevor Kunene

It turns out Pirates’ Irvin Khoza deserves praise for sharing R2m of an insurance payout with Meyiwa’s children when he was under no obligation to do so, writes S’Busiso Mseleku

A City Press query has revealed that the late Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa’s children and family have no legal claim to the R4 million insurance payout that made the news last week.

The club was the sole contributor to the premiums towards the policy it took out, known as keyman insurance. That means it was also the only intended beneficiary.

However, Orlando Pirates chairman Dr Irvin Khoza announced last week that the club had decided to give half the money to Meyiwa’s children.

This led to a frenzy on social media, with many questioning why the club was sharing the payout instead of giving all of it to the Meyiwas.

Even the SA Football Players’ Union (Safpu) general secretary, Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe, entered the fray, saying: “One of the things we are fighting as a union is the insurance policy of the PSL [Premier Soccer League], which pays half of the dividends to the club.”

However, this week, Mduduzi Luthuli of the Inkunzi Wealth Group, said: “Khoza shared the money out of the goodness of his heart. The keyman insurance policy belongs to the club and it’s meant to compensate them should they lose a valued asset, such as a player or official.”

Luthuli said this type of policy was usually taken out by big companies to cover top management staff, such as chief executives and directors regarded as “critical people” within the establishment.

It is different to the group schemes that companies take out where they contribute half the premiums and the employee provides the other half.

Both policies cover injury and death. However, in the case of a keyman insurance policy, the company is the sole beneficiary. In the case of a group scheme, some companies share the payout or the entire amount goes to the deceased’s beneficiaries.

PSL media relations officer Luxolo September said: “The policy also makes provision for payment in the case of death and, if that happens, the clubs have agreed that a portion will be paid to the dependants of the deceased. That provision is one the league and clubs have put in place and, as we are sure you appreciate, there was no legal or other requirement for them to do so.

“All member clubs are covered, all registered players are covered, and member clubs pay the premiums because the cover has been put in place by them.”

September said the league was disappointed at how some people reacted to last week’s announcement.

“The focus on one sort of cover, which is funded entirely by clubs but makes provision for a significant benefit to dependants (where the premiums are entirely club paid) is more than a little disappointing,” he lamented.

September said PSL clubs insured their players for disability and death in a policy that was of a specialist nature to ensure that if the players were injured or ill there was provision to assist with the payment of their remuneration. He said this was in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

Luthuli said his company dealt with a number of PSL players as clients.

“One of the most difficult things is to convince players to invest,” he said. Luthuli said his company always advised players to take out income protection policies and death cover and to invest vigorously.

“Most South African players are plucked from abject poverty. Once such an individual finds himself earning in the region of R300 000 per month, it gives him a false sense of security.”

Luthuli said that while a person with a normal job could save towards a pension over a period of up to 40 years, players were lucky to be employed for 10 years.

“We usually advise people in normal jobs to invest between 10% to 15%, but we tell players to put aside between 30% to 40% of their income in an aggressive growth portfolio investment.”

Last year, when it emerged that Teko Modise earned around R450 000 per month but was in financial trouble, Kaya FM business show presenter Steve Bacher said that if he was his client, he would advise the player to invest at least 50% of his salary to be able to retire comfortably.

“Research shows that men who retire at 60 have a chance to live up to 80, while women live to between 80 to 85 years. This means they should provide for at least 20 to 25 years after retirement,” said Luthuli.

“I usually point out to players that the fact that most of them retire at around 35 means that they are likely to live for about 50 further years without any regular income. So it’s important that they invest vigorously as well as develop other skills.”

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