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These are the days of miracles and wonder

By unknown | Jul 26, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Whoever said the days of miracles are over?

Whoever said the days of miracles are over?

If anyone knows someone who has uttered those words lately, then go tell them they may have spoken too soon.

The posters on Tuesday were screaming all over street poles and shop windows: "Shakes Mashaba joins Bucs".

What? That must have been what went through the minds of local football followers who are clued up with the game's politics.

Well, that's what went through mine anyway. Mashaba and the Iron Duke in bed together?


As the report said, nothing is impossible in soccer but few would have expected that to extend to a truce between one-time sworn enemies Dr Irvin Khoza, the Orlando Pirates boss, and former Bafana Bafana coach, Mashaba.

The two went a step further, beyond making peace, when Khoza appointed Mashaba as Pirates' team manager, replacing the ailing Phil "Mr Jones" Setshedi.

Now, we all know that these gentlemen had not been the best of friends since Mashaba's tenure as coach of the national team between August 2002 and January 2004.

We won't go into the details of the case suffice to say the Iron Duke, in his capacity then as Safa vice president, wielded the big axe and the amiable coach's head was chopped off.

It was a good move for Mashaba as he became a millionaire soon after, thanks to Safa who settled for a reported R2 million payout following court action.

Your guess is as good as mine on how many years it would have taken Mashaba to make all that lolly. Unfortunately, as they say, money cannot buy happiness and while Mashaba was swimming in the bucks, he was a bitter man.

The numerous interviews he gave on the matter always left issues hanging but clear enough for those clued up to read between the lines and the fine print.

Their acrimonious separation from matters of football during all these years kept hanging around Mashaba's thick neck while Khoza went about his business as though nothing happened. He never responded to any of the articles or interviews that, while not mentioning names, clearly pointed to him as being behind Mashaba's fall from grace and time in football limbo since 2004.

The two have now buried the hatchet and we probably should not be opening old wounds by going down memory lane. But we would be abdicating our duties if we just let this momentous (in local football terms) occasion slip by without comment. And, who said eyamadodaayipheli? That line is for kwaito songs as these two soccer icons have just proved. We can only encourage such moves in the spirit of reconciliation and ubuntu.

And, to prove beyond reasonable doubt that we are indeed living in a world of miracles, the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad was announced at the weekend and hardly a whimper from Butana Komphela, the self-styled champion of the quota system through parliament's sports portfolio committee.

His silence is deafening and worrying. As one rugby writer rightly pointed out, it's not fun sending a Springbok team to conquer the world without it being covered by crisis or controversy.

Those boys thrive on crisis, so somebody create one since Komphela has decided to disappoint lots of people by seeing reason.

This is no time to debate about numbers at national level, but it is time to talk development.

Nurture players through the ranks from schools, provinces, right through to the Super 14 and get the pool right first.


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