Uthongathi maintain they are not up for sale

'We can't block players when they leave for Premiership clubs'

15 July 2021 - 08:10
By sihle ndebele AND Sihle Ndebele
Uthongathi manager Makhosonke Mhlongo.
Image: Supplied Uthongathi manager Makhosonke Mhlongo.

Uthongathi manager Makhosonke Mhlongo has moved swiftly to quell speculation that the reason the club have let go of key players was that they intend to sell their status.

In the past few days, Uthongathi have parted ways with five instrumental players in Khethukuthula Ndlovu, Xolani Silawula, Siboniso Cele, Ntsikelelo Nxadi and Saziso Magawana.

These departures sparked rumours that the Cane Cutters were on the verge of changing ownership. Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, Mhlongo insisted they have no intentions to sell the status, revealing these players were sold to Premiership clubs.

“No, no, we are not selling our status. We have no intentions to sell our status… that must be clear. The reason we’ve had mass exodus is that we have let our players go and seek greener pastures… these five players were sold to Premiership clubs,’’ said Mhlongo.

“Ndlovu has joined Swallows, they have even confirmed. I can’t reveal where the other four are going but they are also going to play in the big league in the new season. We couldn’t stand in players’ way because we believe that people must grow in their careers.’’

Sowetan has gathered that Cele, Magawana and Nxadi are all going to Golden Arrows. It’s not yet clear whether Silawula, who was the side’s vice skipper, is also joining Abafana Bes’thende or not.

Mhlongo reminded people that at the end of the 2019/20 season they sold eight players to top-flight clubs. Njabulo Ngcobo (Swallows), Pule Mmodi (Arrows) and Celimpilo Ngema (Marumo Gallants) headlined the list of Uthongathi stars that were captured by Premiership sides.

“We have always produced players for Premiership clubs. At the end of the previous season we sold eight players to top-flight clubs, so you see, it’s been our way of doing things. Our players always do well in the Premiership and that is the reason teams don’t stop wanting our players,’’ said Mhlongo.