Londiwe Xulu
journalist
2 minute read
12 Aug 2021
06:15

Pietermaritzburg businessman Hlope has left behind a legacy, say grieving family

Londiwe Xulu

Well-known Pietermaritzburg businessman and owner of a local football club, Bongi Hlophe died on Tuesday at the age of 66.

Well-known Pietermaritzburg businessman and owner of a local football club, Bongi Hlophe, died on Tuesday at the age of 66.

His son, Mduduzi Hlophe, said, “The family is shattered, and we are all trying to run around and keep things moving.

“He passed on while he was still glued and committed to local talent development by facilitating the Maritzburg City Development Academy that has now produced some players for Orlando Pirates.”
Mduduzi Hlophe.

“My father died while we were working on one of our biggest projects which was to supply big supermarkets with our spices and sauces.”

Hlophe owned a series of businesses in the city which includes the famous Hlophe Butcheries, Hlophe Motors (Petrol Station & Quickshop), Khulumani Properties (Property Rentals), Versatile Interior, Land Resources International, Maritzburg City Football Club and Khulumani Livestock and Land.

He was also a huge fan of soccer with his interest growing more in the mid-90s. In 1998, Hlophe formed his own soccer club called Maritzburg City. He committed himself to transforming the Midlands soccer culture and creating a platform for the local soccer players to shine throughout the country, said his son. He managed to supply and develop great players from PSL teams, some being Gaba and Deda Hlophe.

In 2010, Bongi Hlophe was appointed by Fifa as the Fifa World Cup provincial co-ordinator. In 2013, the Confederation of African Football also used him as venue manager for the African Cup of Nations. Hlophe has held several positions in the soccer fraternity including deputy president of the uMgungundlovu region, managing director of Amazulu FC and many others.

“He passed on while he was still glued and committed to local talent development by facilitating the Maritzburg City Development Academy that has now produced some players for Orlando Pirates,” said Mduduzi.

He added that they will miss his father as a person who was very helpful and glued the family together.

Manager at the Hlophe Butchery Wiseman Hlophe (also a son) said he and the staff were all sad and still in shock. His other son Lindokuhle said his father left a huge legacy that they will forever respect.

Hlophe will be laid to rest on Saturday morning.