Troubled Mamelodi Sundowns star goes AWOL for a month

Aubrey Ngoma and Siyabonga Zulu during the Mamelodi Sundowns press conference at Chloorkop on January 17, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Aubrey Ngoma and Siyabonga Zulu during the Mamelodi Sundowns press conference at Chloorkop on January 17, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Troubled Mamelodi Sundowns defender Siyabonga Zulu has not reported for work for almost a month and has not set foot at the club's Chloorkop headquarters since last year.

Insiders told SowetanLIVE on Tuesday that Zulu‚ who joined the Brazilians at the beginning of last year from the now defunct Platinum Stars‚ has not reported for training since December and the club is in the dark in regards to his whereabouts.

Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane‚ who had high hopes for Zulu when he signed him from Stars‚ and the club's management have given up on the former Bafana Bafana left-back as he is a repeat offender having already appeared before two disciplinary hearings last year.

“The club took a big chance on him‚ despite the problems he had at his previous clubs‚ with the hope that he comes good‚” said the insider.

“The situation is serious.

"Sometimes he does not attend games when he is not playing and he does not pitch when asked to play for the MDC team.

"The club has done everything possible to help him but he does not want to change.

"We have had meetings with some members of his family and his representatives but after a while he goes back to his wayward ways.”

Zulu could not be reached on his mobile while Alban Newman‚ an official at his representatives Prosport International‚ declined to comment on the matter when contacted by SowetanLIVE on Tuesday.

The player's appearances before two disciplinary hearings at the club last year were confirmed by another insider on Tuesday.

A former official at one of his previous clubs said he was not surprised to hear that Zulu has gone off the rails.

“To be honest‚ I am not surprised that he is behaving like this because we used to have similar problems with him‚" said the official who wished to remain anonymous.

"I think Siya has a deep rooted problem and what I noticed about him was that he can’t read or write properly.

"He would go missing for a number of days and suddenly resurface and want to continue as nothing had happened. “We used to manage him but the problem is that things like that can create serious divisions in the team because other players will complain that you treat him differently.

"I hope they somehow find a solution because if his mind is in a right place he can add a lot of value because he is a good player.”

Since he arrived at Sundowns‚ Zulu‚ who was a regular at Stars‚ has seen limited game time with Mosimane preferring Tebogo Langerman and Lyle Lakay at left-back position.

It is believed this is another cause of his frustration.

Sundowns spokesperson Thulani Thuswa declined to comment on the matter while acting general manager Yogesh Singh did not pick up his phone.

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