Thulani Hlatshwayo recalls spell at Wits with great fondness

Neville Khoza Journalist
Thulani Hlatshwayo recalls spell at Wits with great fondness.
Thulani Hlatshwayo recalls spell at Wits with great fondness.
Image: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix

As he prepares to start his new chapter with Orlando Pirates in the new season, Thulani "Tyson" Hlatshwayo is proud of what he has achieved with Bidvest Wits as a captain, having led them to two titles.

Hlatshwayo bid an emotional farewell to Wits yesterday as the club's 99-year history came to an end on Saturday in their last match of the Absa Premiership season against Polokwane City.

Wits will now relocate to Limpopo after they sold their status and will be called Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) next season.

Hlatshwayo, who won the Absa Premiership (2016/17) and Telkom Knockout (2017) titles with the Clever Boys in his six-year stay, said he goes with his head held high.

“It has been a good journey at Wits for me since I joined them from Ajax Cape Town [six years ago],” Hlatshwayo said during an online interview with the South African Football Journalists Association (Saftja) yesterday.

“For me to be able to win the first trophy for myself individually [at the club], all I can say is I appreciate everything the club has done. Our relationship with Wits has worked well with the trophies I won with them and being the captain, to win those trophies was wonderful.”

The 30-year-old defender is expected to be unveiled as Pirates' new signing this week. He added that it would have been nice had they ended by lifting the Nedbank Cup title or finished third in the log standings, which would have allowed TTM to take part in the CAF Confederation Cup.

“It is a sad feeling for the guys to have played our last game against Polokwane City. There were a lot of emotions around the team and everyone knowing well that we’ve been here many years,” Hlatshwayo said. “There were a lot of emotions around the sale of the team and you could see the way we played, we never gave up.

“Knowing that the team won’t be there any more, it was always going to be easy to start being sluggish and play for the sake of playing but what we did was to make sure that we repay what the game has done for everyone and make sure we bid farewell in a good way.

"We would have loved to win the Nedbank Cup but it was not to be. Our plan was also to put [the] new owners in CAF [the Confederation Cup]. That's what we always joked about.”