Harmony in shock purge

Richard Nkosi

Harmony Gold Club Athlete Sipho Ngomane, who is based in Mpumalanga, and all of his teammates have left the club.

"My contract with Harmony has been terminated and currently I'm running in the colours of Mr Price. But I have not signed any contract with them," the 2005 Comrades Marathon champion said yesterday.

Some of Ngomane's mates who have also had their contracts terminated by Harmony include Colleen Khoza, Graham Malinga, Brian Zondi and Josia Thugwane.

Nick Bester, Harmony manager, confirmed the departure of the athletes.

Before Ngomane's contract was terminated, sources close to Ngomane and Bester claimed the two were no longer seeing eye to eye.

But Graham Briggs, acting chief executive of Harmony, said they had decided to stop sponsoring the professional athletes because the sponsorship had achieved its goal of raising the Harmony brand to new levels.

He said it was tied to Harmony's five-year contract for the sponsorship of the Comrades Marathon, signed in 2002.

Russel Crawford of Mr Price said there are athletes from Harmony who are joining his club.

"At the moment I can't reveal their names as we are still negotiating with them," he said.