Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Thembinkosi Sekgaphane
Phakaaathi Digital Administrator
3 minute read
7 Dec 2018
11:21 am

Japie Motale’s solution: join hands

Thembinkosi Sekgaphane

Former SuperSport United defender Japie Motale has urged former professionals to join hands to minimise cases of players dying bankrupt.

Japie Motale (Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images)

Motale works for the MMC for Sport’s office in the city of Tshwane municipality as the suite coordinator for all the stadiums in the city, he also assists with administration work, which he says is something different to what he is used to – he has had to adapt to working in an office, having to write and adhere to deadlines.

Japie never felt pressured by having an accomplished older brother like Orlando Pirates legend and Caf Champions League winner Edward Motale because they played football in different eras, with him turning professional at a time when South Africa was breaking free of the apartheid regime.

“Eddie is a people’s person, and his personality and the fact that he has never been involved in any scandal through his career is a reflection of our upbringing, so that is the only think I felt I had to sustain – the legacy to not let the family down because he was well-behaved throughout, so I didn’t want to taint the image he had created for the Motale name. I think I managed to maintain the legacy, we could never play the same style of football, we are talented but it won’t be the same,” said Motale.

The 39-year-old’s retirement was shrouded in controversy after he was accused by then club coach Mlungisi Ngubane of throwing their last game of the season against Mpumalanga Black Aces – the defeat saw Thanda Royal Zulu relegated.

The rumour saw many clubs decide against signing Motale as there was no proof of his innocence after being accused of receiving R250 000 to influence the outcome.

Having turned out for former club Benoni United, which was bought and renamed Thanda Royal Zulu, Motale says clubs falling from top-flight football to lower leagues and at times getting shut down has nothing to do with the management of the club.

“We also contributed to the club getting relegated, the club was run professionally. At the time the owners came to South Africa from Sweden with a European style of managing a club – highly professional, all we had to do was win games, there were no issues with salaries, we got good treatment. We were given everything at Thanda. The players are to blame at times,” said Motale.

Motale pleads with former players to take any job they can find after retiring to put food on the table.

The 39-year-old has called for a standard salary for each league in South Africa and says former stars need to help current players by fighting for a basic salary in football instead of criticising them for dropping the standard.

“Once I knew it was over for me, I wanted to work, I needed to go on and I had to close the football chapter. I didn’t care what job I got, I wanted to have money to survive, money is money, we can’t all end up in football as former professionals, the clubs we played for can’t employ all of us, let’s look for work elsewhere, don’t be in denial,” Motale added.

“People are open to helping as long as you accept your situation and you are willing to work.”


For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.