usuthu chase votes

AMAZULU are not only targeting people of KwaZulu-Natal to vote for them for the Telkom Charity Cup but will also solicit votes from hostel dwellers in Gauteng.

AMAZULU are not only targeting people of KwaZulu-Natal to vote for them for the Telkom Charity Cup but will also solicit votes from hostel dwellers in Gauteng.

And their loyalists will be excited that Usuthu are among the early pacesetters on the voting charts for this one-day, four-team spectacular billed for Ellis Park Stadium on August 1.

The battle-scarred AmaZulu were leading the voting charts with 12822 votes by 6.30 last night.

Mamelodi Sundowns were second on 12574 votes, followed by defending champions Orlando Pirates on 8367 and last season's losing finalists Kaizer Chiefs on 7910 votes.

The Brazilians and Platinum Stars also qualified for the tournament last year.

Absa Premiership upstarts Mpumalanga Black Aces were placed fifth with 2560 votes, while Bloemfontein Celtic were sixth with a paltry 1422 votes.

AmaZulu spokesperson Philani Mabaso said though they were thrilled with the votes so far, they would not rest on their laurels.

"We are going to visit hostels and taxi ranks in Soweto, Vosloorus, Katlehong and Benoni to plead with people to vote for us," said Mabaso yesterday.

It will be a great feeling for the people of KwaZulu-Natal and hostel dwellers around Johannesburg to see Usuthu play in such an event.

AmaZulu, who had an excellent run in the league last season, have a rich history in the local game and their supporters should prove their loyalty to ensure that the team qualifies for this season-opener. The last time they played in the tournament was in the late 1990s.

If they qualify, their supporters will have an early opportunity to see the side's new players such as Argentinian goalkeeper Mick Gindre, forward Sandile Gumede, defender Warren Bishop and winger Sibusiso Radebe.

The likes of Ntokozo Skhakhane and Dumisani Ngwenya are among the players who can assist AmaZulu to shine in the tournament if they qualify.

The Charity Cup, which is staged to benefit chari-table organisations around the country, returns to Ellis Park after a four-year absence.

In the past two years it was staged at Mmabatho Stadium in Mafikeng and before that was hosted at Soccer City.

"We appeal to people to vote in numbers and we are hopeful this year's event will be the biggest," Telkom sponsorship manager Nakedi Chiloane said yesterday.

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