twist in oj saga

TRUANT: Sundowns defender Mbulelo Mabizela. Pic. Lefty Shivambu. 12/07/2008. © Gallo Images
TRUANT: Sundowns defender Mbulelo Mabizela. Pic. Lefty Shivambu. 12/07/2008. © Gallo Images

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

In a surprise twist, Mamelodi Sundowns yesterday gave two accounts regarding Mbulelo Mabizela.

Club media and communications manager Mahlatse Mphahlele first told Sowetan that Mabizela had not appeared before a disciplinary committee for going AWOL from not only his team, but also from Bafana Bafana.

"We have been busy with the Macufe Cup and the player has not been charged yet, but it is only a matter of time because in any organisation when you contravene the rules you have to be punished," Mphahlele said.

But three hours later Mphahlele did an about-turn and phoned to say there had been a hearing last week, where the player had been formally charged. He declined to say what charges were put to the truant player.

"The specific charges are between the player and the club, and we do not want them to come out in the media as they are confidential," Mphahlele said.

He said the DC will come back with their findings and the course of action to be taken.

The South African Football Association has also not been informed about this hearing.

When Bafana Bafana team manager Sipho Nkumane was contacted, he said Safa was still awaiting information from the club before doing anything.

"I will talk to the coach [Joel] Santana, but we basically agreed with the club to report to us before we proceed," he said.

Safa has been known to act swiftly when selected players fail to report to the national team camp, and it has been baffling why they have kept quiet on this one.

When asked why Sundowns had not informed Safa about the latest regarding the player, Mphahlele said: "I do not know about that."

l The rescheduled match between Sundowns and AmaZulu kicks off at 7.30pm at Super Stadium, Atteridgeville, tomorrow.