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Dogged by controversy, soccer star dies in car crash

By unknown | Sep 05, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sibongile Mashaba and Simon Nare

Sibongile Mashaba and Simon Nare

There are a few individuals who find themselves where they are without exerting the slightest effort, and it is this group that often proves to be problematic, a reader once said.

He was commenting on the many published escapades of talented soccer player, Gift Leremi who had several brushes with the law.

However, his form had been blighted by reports of off-the-field misbehaviour.

First, there were reports of drunkenness and unruly behaviour even to allegations of rape and assault

Leremi's bad-boy behaviour once had his bosses wanting to give up on him.

But then they remembered that Leremi had come a long way.

His former boss, Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin 'Iron Duke' Khoza, who went all out to play a father figure and said: "I will do everything to help Gift because he is my son."

Khoza said he would not stand by and watch "a career go to waste".

At the Orlando Pirates awards ceremony in Melrose Arch in 2005 , he expressed his concern about the wayward tendencies of young players.

He said though the young men promised to deliver on their soccer talents, they too often failed before they fully realised the benefits of their skills.

Leremi gave his bosses at Orlando Pirates trouble.

He missed training sessions and was not paid. Then he would return to his senses and come back to the game for which he lived.

He was arrested for assault and rape, but was never convicted.

Leremi was first spotted at the popular annual Godfrey Moloi tournaments in Mapetla, Soweto.

He was recruited by Orlando Pirates technical director Agusto Palacios in 2000.

Two years later he was in the Yebo Yes side that won the SAB Regional League national title in Itsoseng in the North West.

He scored two goals on his debut in a PB Top 8 Cup match with Pirates against Moroka Swallows at Rand Stadium in 2002.


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