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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Pirates confirm safe return of Buthelezi after kidnapping ordeal

“Yes, it’s true. Our goalkeeper Mr. Melusi Buthelezi was involved in a hijacking last night," said Merafe.

Orlando Pirates have given an update regarding the hijacking and kidnapping of club goalkeeper Melusi Buthelezi, who has been found safe and unharmed.

READ MORE: Pirates goalkeeper hijacked and taken hostage

Buthelezi was hijacked and taken hostage on Thursday night in Thokoza, East of Johannesburg, with the South African Intelligence Bureau revealing the details of the crime on Friday morning.

Pirates media officer Thandi Merafe says they are happy that Buthelezi is safe and unharmed and asked that the player be given some space to recover from this traumatic ordeal.

“Yes, it’s true. Our goalkeeper Mr. Melusi Buthelezi was involved in a hijacking last night. The player is safe and unscathed. We are happy that he is safe and unharmed. As a club we kindly request that Melusi is given space to recover from this traumatic ordeal,” said Merafe.

It is a second time in two years that the Bucs shot-stopper has faced a hijacking incident, having been in a similar situation in 2022 while travelling with his brother in Soweto during his playing days at TS Galaxy. The pair were reported to have suffered stabbing wounds, which landed them in hospital with the brother having suffered major injuries during the incident.

Having suffered two hijackings in two years, Buthelezi will certainly need professional support in order to get over the incident.

Pirates are likely to give the former Rockets player some time off, meaning he is likely to miss Saturday’s DStv Premiership tie against Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

ALSO READ: Sundowns set to offload Onyango at the end of the season?

Buthelezi was on the bench for the Buccaneers in their last two games against Mamelodi Sundowns in the league and Crystal Lake FC in the Nedbank Cup last-32 round.

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