How MaMkhize brought glam to docile PSL

From guns to cash, local league clearly no longer the same

Durban businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize, the owner of Royal AM is no stranger to the art of setting tongues wagging.
Durban businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize, the owner of Royal AM is no stranger to the art of setting tongues wagging.
Image: Supplied

Royal AM owner Shauwn “MaMkhize” Mkhize hogged the headlines  way before she purchased Bloemfontein Celtic in August.

Aside from stealing the limelight once again after paying players in cash mid-pitch at the weekend, here are some of the things she did to stun the normally docile local football world:

A trophy parade for nothing

At the end of last season, while campaigning in the GladAfrica Championship, MaMkhize rewarded the players with a mock trophy and medals, thinking they had won the division and claimed automatic promotion.

But this had been against the PSL counsel, as there was a DC case pending which eventually declared Sekhukhune – and not Royal – as champions. That didn’t stop MaMkhize and her crew from throwing a party where music was loud, dancing on point and champagne flowing freely.

A screengrab of Shauwn Mkhize and her son Andile Mpisane handing out hard cash to players following the 2-1 league win against Maritzburg United at Chatsworth stadium.
A screengrab of Shauwn Mkhize and her son Andile Mpisane handing out hard cash to players following the 2-1 league win against Maritzburg United at Chatsworth stadium.
Image: Screengrab

Repeated court cases

Feeling they had been robbed, Royal embarked on several court processes in a bid to gain promotion ahead of Sekhukhune. While she left everything mainly in the hands of her legal team, MaMkhize regularly posted long statements on her social media pages, claiming she was being targeted for being a woman and vowing to fight to the bitter end. She temporarily won relief from the Joburg High Court but later lost in the same court, which found that the playoffs could proceed. Dramatically, she promised to take the case all the way to the Constitutional Court.

Playoffs no show

In June following a court ruling, the PSL decided to go ahead with the playoffs featuring MaMkhize’s Royal, Chippa United and Richards Bay. Royal showed up for one match, arriving in style with high-powered cars transporting the officials and a luxury coach ferrying the players.

However, with TV cameras all set for action, Royal departed the match venue without kicking a ball. TV crews showed them speeding off the stadium, leaving Chippa to get a walkover. Chippa then retained their status after winning the mini-league, having beaten Richards Bay.

Dream comes true for the queen 

In a dramatic turn of events, MaMkhize had her dream of owning a Premiership team realised just days before the start of the season when she acquired financially troubled Bloemfontein Celtic. Not surprisingly, they lost their first two matches as the squad had to relocate hurriedly to KZN.

But more chaos followed as players claimed they had not received full salaries at the end of August. MaMkhize and her people countered by saying some players and officials had doctored their original contracts, inflating salaries, hence the non-payment.

Matchday drama

Perhaps the most boisterous appearance made by MaMkhize was in September following Royal’s 4-1 thrashing of Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium. This was where the socialite and her crew came full circle, with a huge Bluetooth speaker in tow. They were videoed celebrating in the stands, and then took the party to the field where Andile Mpisane danced like there was no tomorrow.

But the biggest talking point after that match was the fact that MaMkhize seemed to have been accompanied by guards, with one of the crew clearly shown armed with a shotgun. Tongues were set wagging with questions raised as to whether firearms were allowed in PSL fixtures.

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