Khaya Ndubane

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How Sangweni ended up at Pirates after signing with Chiefs

"I was confused because I was done with Chiefs," says Sangweni.


Former Orlando Pirates defender Siyabonga Sangweni says he still does not know how he ended up playing for the Buccaneers after he initially signed with Kaizer Chiefs.

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Sangweni joined  the Chiefs academy in 1999, but ran away just before he going to be promoted to the senior team.

Speaking to FARPost during the unveiling of a stadium named after him in Dondotha this past weekend, Sangweni said the reason why he fled was because the R200 allowance money he was getting from Chiefs was not sufficient enough for him and his family.

“In 1999, I was in the Kaizer Chiefs academy but I ran away, Bobby [Motaung] knows the story. The likes of Jabu Pule and [Nhlanhla] Kubheka, we were in that team that was going to be promoted.

“But I just felt that this thing of being given R200 to buy bathing soap while at home there is a team that can give me R1500 salary…I would be able to share a little with my mother from that,” said Sangweni.

After running away from Chiefs at night Sangweni ended up playing for Bongani FC, who were campaigning in the Vodacom League in KZN.

From Bongani FC he joined Nathi Lions and then Golden Arrows where he won the 2009 MTN8 under the tutelage of Manqoba Mngqithi.

“I told them [Bongani FC owners] to fetch me at night, they came and stole me. At Chiefs, they woke up and I was no longer there. They eventually saw me emerge at Golden Arrows and it was late.”

Sangweni was eventually signed by Chiefs again in 2010, but in a turn of events, he ended up joining Pirates a year later.

“My father wanted me to play for Chiefs, but my mother was close to Mato [Madlala].

“Before mom passed away, she said everything you will do, here is your mom [pointing at Mato Madlala] who will tell you what to do in football. I told Mato I wanted to go to Chiefs and she said, ‘Okay you will go’.

“I signed with Chiefs in 2010 and told Mato: ‘I’ve signed with Chiefs and have to start on Tuesday’.

“Sis Mato then told me they want you at Pirates. I was confused because I was done with Chiefs. She said forget about that, I’m your parent and everything will go well.

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“After that, chairman [Irvin Khoza] phoned me and said, ‘Look, we have spoken with your mom. You belong at Pirates now’ and I eventually agreed. They booked me a flight for a meeting to discuss contracts in Johannesburg.

“And that was the end of the story, I ended up with Indoda Emnyama, Once and Always,” explained Sangweni.

“Perhaps they made agreements with Chiefs, but I was no longer there,” concluded the former Bafana Bafana defender.

Meanwhile, Sangweni thanked the provincial government for honouring him with the stadium.

He said the facility would be used to nurture young people’s talents and help them achieve their dreams of becoming stars in future.