Safa under fire

REMEMBRANCE: Sizwe Motaung's father Mghafisi Motaung holds a picture of his late son. Photo: © PressPhoto.
REMEMBRANCE: Sizwe Motaung's father Mghafisi Motaung holds a picture of his late son. Photo: © PressPhoto.

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Safa has come under fire from the parents of the late Bafana Bafana defender Sizwe Motaung.

They have accused the football governing body of ignoring the role and contribution played by their son in developing local football.

Mghafisi Motaung, 63, lambasted Safa, saying the organisation has failed to honour Sizwe for working tirelessly for his country.

Motaung junior died of an Aids-related illness seven years ago.

"I feel so much pain for what Safa has done. They seemed to have completely forgotten about my son's role. When other players such as Lucas Radebe were honoured with testimonial matches, we thought they would do the same for him, but nothing has happened," said Motaung senior.

He said he was still deeply hurt by the fact that none of the Safa management had ever put their foot at Sizwe's home, even at his funeral.

"They never showed that they valued his contribution. None of the top management ever set his foot at our home, despite Sizwe playing so well for the national team.

"To us and other people out there, he was a national asset, but to Safa it does not seem like that. Even president Molefi Oliphant was in Newcastle on Saturday, but he never bothered to visit," he said.

Motaung also revealed that he got Sizwe arrested to protect him from bad influences.

"He was 16 when I went to the local magistrate and asked for a warrant for his arrest because he would come home after 7pm, which was against a family tradition. I did that to protect him from the bad influence from his peers, who would hang out at night and that made him the Sizwe the public knew.

"When he was released, he was warned that he must not be found on the streets after 7pm. For 10 years he never got home late and spent his time playing soccer," he said.

Motaung senior also accused the managements of Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns of ignoring Sizwe's contribution to the respective clubs.

"None of them seemed to appreciate his contribution. It was only Jomo Sono who would visit us and that shows he cared for the player," he said.

But Safa spokesman Morio Senyane denied that they were ignoring Sizwe's contribution, saying he would be honoured. He said the issue had been under discussion and plans to honour them would be unveiled soon.

"It has been on the agenda of many of our management meetings and the plans will be outlined soon in terms of paying tribute and homage to all those who contributed to the development of football.

"Definitely the likes of Sizwe cannot be overlooked because they served the country with distinction," said Senyane.

Pirates spokesman Micky Modisane said the club could not comment on any matter relating to Motaung.

"In terms of any matter relating to the late Sizwe, we, as a club, cannot comment because we believe it is a private matter between the Khoza and the Motaung families. However, we can proudly say that Sizwe was a great defender."

Mahlatshe Mphahlele of Mamelodi Sundowns promised to respond once he got some clarity from the management regarding arrangements on the matter.