BFA frees South African duo


Gaborone ‑ Botswana football authorities have terminated the contracts of former South Africa footballers Benedict Vilakazi and Manqoba Ngwenya with Premier League club Notwane FC.

The duo had sought the intervention of Botswana Football Association to terminate their contracts, citing breach of contract by the club.

“Considering the immense prejudice suffered and continued breach of contract on the part of the respondent (Notwane) the complainants’ contract with the respondent is terminated forthwith and the complainants declared free agents,” reads part of the judgment delivered by the BFA national executive committee.

The two former Bafana Bafana players said Notwane owes them three months' pay, which has left them stranded in Botswana.

The pair joined the premiership club during the off-season but told BBC Sport they have yet to receive their signing-on fees, salaries and allowances. 

They were recently thrown out of their hotel without their luggage, which was held, because they have been unable to pay their bills.

In an interview, Vilakazi paid tribute to the BFA saying the association’s intervention was long overdue.

“We are happy that the BFA has finally intervened and resolved the stand-off. We are now free and we have to move on with our lives without hurdles. The situation was beginning to take its toll on us,” he said.

While he admitted that they went through a rough patch, Vilakazi said he did not want to paint the Botswana football with the same brush, adding that some opportunities were knocking on their doors within the country.

“I’m waiting for a club that will show interest in my service even here in Botswana. I like football and I would like to see myself on the pitch once again,” he said. Reports have linked Vilakazi with another side, Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) while Rollers ‑ owned by millionaire Jagdish Shah ‑ confirmed signing Ngwenya on a two-year deal. Indian business tycoon Esfandiar Ghodrati owns BMC. Vilakazi has started training with his new club, with BMC coach Daniel Nare having been quoted as saying the former diminutive Orlando Pirates midfielder would not face the same challenges he encountered at Notwane.

“It would be unfair for us to be judged based on what happened to him at Notwane. We are totally different from Notwane,” Nare said.

Nare said Vilakazi's arrival was a big boost for his youthful squad and he believed the diminutive linkman would bring stability to the team.

“We're in a transition as a club and Tso comes with a history of a colourful career both in South Africa and abroad, which boosts our brand as a club.

“He also has experience and has captained great clubs and we are a team that lacks leadership on the field. I needed somebody of that stature in this team.”

November 2013
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