Thursday, 30 August 2012

Gordon Igesund's Bafana: "We won't play Brazil feeling inferior"

Start of a new era: Bafana boss Gordon Igesund

Gordon Igesund has picked his first Bafana Bafana squad - to play Brazil in Sao Paolo on September 7, kick-off 8.45pm on SABC1.
No surprises among the goalkeepers with Moeneeb Josephs back ("I didn't beg him," Igesund said) and Orlando Pirates Siya Sangweni in at the back with Morgan Gould injured ("That was a big blow to us and to Kaizer Chiefs").
In midfield, Igesund had picked Kamohelo Makotjo from Feyenoord ("Playing in a good League in Holland's Ere divisie, deserves a chance") and Kgosi Ntlhe ("Playing for Peterborough in a very touch Championship, I spoke to his boss Darren Ferguson (Son of Sir Alex) and he said Kgosi is just 18 but he'll never let me down").
Up front, Dino Ndlovu is in after early goals for Maccabi Haifa in Israel (Gordon said: "Who's to say he's not our next superstar. He's getting goals, he's sharp.")
Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)
Siyabonga Sangweni (Orlando Pirates), Bevan Fransman (SuperSport United), Bongani Khumalo (PAOK, Greece), Erick Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Anele Ngcongca (Genk, Belgium), Punch Masenamela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates), Kgosi Ntlhe (Peterborough, England)
Kamohelo Makotjo (Feyenoord, Holland), Steven Pienaar (captain)(Everton, England), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala (both Kaizer Chiefs), Thulani Serero (Ajax Amsterdam, Holland), Katlego Mashego (Free State Stars), Dean Furman (Oldham Athletic, England), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace, England)
May Mahlangu (Malmo, Sweden), Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs), Lerato Chabangu, Siyabonga Nomvete (both Moroka Swallows), Dino Ndlovu (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Thamsanqa Gabuza (Golden Arrows)
Gordon added: "Tokelo Rantie is the only player I picked and then left out. I spoke to Malmo, where he's scored four goals already, and they said he's only 60 percent fit. Tokelo told me that when I spoke to him. I appreciate his honesty."
No sign of Benni McCarthy, but Lerato Chagangu and Siyabonga Nomvete, Gordon's former Swallows, both make it. 
Igesund added: "Look, we all know Brazil are five times champions of the world, but that doesn't mean we will go out there feeling inferior. We don't have the best preparation, but we'll turn that in to a positive.
"I don't go out playing not to lose. We will go out there playing wide men, playing to win. It's Brazil's biggest national holiday on the 7th, it won't be a friendly, they've got their best side out. But we have to be positive.
"We have to win AFCON 2013, that's the big picture. I believe this is a good side, well-balanced. It will change before AFCON, no doubt. But this is a well-balanced side. This is the start of a new era for Bafana Bafana." 

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The uncomfortable truth: Why Irvin Khoza can't run Orlando Pirates and the PSL

The Iron Duke: Irvin Khoza
AFTER two years back in South Africa, it's time to address one of the serious problems surrounding the PSL, indisputably the richest league on the continent. It’s time to ask salient questions about the all-powerful Irvin Khoza, despite my twitter timeline being haunted by the Ghost of Soweto. Time to lay my cards on the table without fear or favour.

This isn't the blog I intended to put up today. My thoughts are drawn to Gordon Igesund's first Bafana Bafana squad and the resignation of England Test cricket captain Andrew Strauss, both of which will be announced today.

But the demands from Orlando Pirates fans on Facebook and Twitter knows no limits. They want me to explain why I feel their beloved Iron Duke should step down from his position of PSL chairman as soon as possible, for the sake of the game.

I should point out I've never met the man. Back in the 1980s, when I was heavily involved in South African football, the Iron Duke was a shadow in the foothills of football, a minor extra without an illustrious career in the game like the powerful figures of the time, Kaizer Motaung and Jomo Sono.

Khoza's rise to prominence, his incredible journey to a controlling position at Orlando Pirates, is easy to explain. The 64-year-old is a political genius, a master of diplomacy, despite an arrest for tax fraud in 2001 and two fines for insurance fraud.

He now holds a majority interest in the Orlando Stadium, has vast power within SAFA, decides the direction of the national team and - after playing a leading role in a highly successful World Cup on South African soil - he was able to focus on his beloved Buccaneers and they promptly picked up two successive trebles.

I'm told Khoza also has a stake in the Ellis Park sporting precinct, I've seen his mansion in Soweto - and he even has President Jacob Zuma in his family tree, though I won't go in to that here.

The conflict of interest inherent in Khoza's position as the major power at Orlando Pirates, the PSL and SAFA shouldn't need to be explained, but here I will list my reasons why I believe all is not right given the current status quo.

ONE: When Orlando Pirates fans got out of hand on Saturday night at Khoza's Orlando Stadium, I was there. I pointed out the paucity of trained stewards, the lack of warnings from the public address system and the presence of fireworks and bottles among the unsearched Ghost which led to a brief stoppage of game and several injuries.

On Monday on eNCAnews, eTV Sunrise, KayaFM, here and in The New Age, I highlighted a list of measures which should now be taken to ensure there is no repeat of the violence which broke out during a shock 3-0 MT8 defeat at the hands of SuperSport United.

With Khoza's Pirates fined FOUR TIMES since March last year, I called for immediate and punitive action. A big fine, a game played behind closed doors and further punishment for the apologetic Benni McCarthy, whose needless red card ultimately led to Saturday night's trouble, which I witnessed from a position amid the furious Buccaneer fans.

What did Khoza's PSL do? They charged arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs AND Orlando Pirates with failing control their fans. Once more, we witnessed the shrewd political machinations of the Iron Duke. The AmaKhozi DID throw a few things at Lotus Versfeld on August 5 but that was nearly a month ago, and there had been no calls for further action from ANYBODY. It was not a major incident.

It's arguable Chiefs deserved some sort of censure for their away fans that day, but in football, the conduct of travelling supporters is difficult to monitor. It may be that Khoza had no part to play in this decision to charge BOTH of South Africa's giants on the same day.

But as long as the Iron Duke runs both the PSL and Pirates, it's hard to see yesterday's move as anything other than an attempt to deflect attention away from the problems at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night, where Khoza is ultimately responsible for security and fan behaviour.

We shall find out if real action is taken against the Buccaneers on September 7, when the hearing in to both situations is held.

TWO: Though nobody is questioning Orlando Pirates' position as the premier team in South Africa after their two successive PSL championships, it was a bit of a surprise when FOR THE SECOND SEASON RUNNING, the Buccaneers were "drawn" to play Golden Arrows on the last day of last season.

Pirates duly won the PSL with that come-from-behind victory against Golden Arrows inspired by a Benni McCarthy brace. What are the odds on that happening, given the League fixtures are supposed to be drawn at random with the help of computer scheduling?

And, unless I've been misinformed, Khoza's relationship with Arrows chairperson Mato Madlala and her family goes back a long, long way, to the re-founding of the franchise in 1996. Again, this could be pure coincidence, but with the Pirates chairman in charge of the PSL, what are we to think?

THREE: With his side just hours away from opening the new season against, ironically, Golden Arrows, we had Squveve suddenly bursting on to our television screens to tell us all about the new-fangled “Q innovation” with sponsors ABSA.

Though I have no problem with the idea of giving the quarterly winners of the PSL R1.5m and the ultimate champions R10m, I said immediately that the added concept of providing R500,000 to journalists who correctly predicted the most results every quarter. That goes against journalistic ethics and, arguably, could even taint the attitude of certain media pundits.

To have the chairman change the rules of the PSL hours before his own team – aiming for a hat-trick of titles - kicked-off the season would be seen an unusual in any league in the world. To offer money to journalists rather than fans for their predictions? Unthinkable.

And the fact that only “certain” journalists have been approached for their predictions makes the whole thing curiouser still. Somehow media men critical of Khoza were left off the list – I can only speak for myself. PSL PRO Altaaf Kazi used to email me everything last season. Now I’m persona non grata, which is why I chose to sit in the stands at 
Orlando last week rather than the press box. 

Is that why neither of the major South African football websites mentioned the game-stopping trouble at the Orlando Stadium in their match reports on Saturday night? Of course, I could be wrong, but with Khoza in his dual position of power, it’s hard to put two and two together without making half a million.

FOUR: Whatever happened to PSL CEO Stanley Matthews? Why did he stand down when everything appeared to be going so well? I met Matthews a couple of times before his sudden departure in July, have tried to get him to talk to me about the problems which led to his resignation. I’ve heard nothing. Nobody has. It’s as if he never existed.

Could it be that he stood up to the machinations that were going on behind the scenes at the PSL? As a former SuperSport United executive, he would have railed against potential bias being shown toward any particular club. At the PSL awards at Gold Reef City I was particularly interested to see the relationship between Khoza and Matthews. And between the Pirates boss and Amakhosi founder Kaizer Motaung.

There was no doubt who was in charge, even at a largely social occasion. A couple of weeks later, Matthews was gone. So was Altaaf Kazi. We can only guess at the root causes of their unhappiness, but Khoza has done nothing to explain.

I will let this argument stand at that. Four good reasons why Irvin Khoza SHOULD NOT be allowed to run the PSL and the South African champions. I could go in to the failure of Danny Jordaan’s FIFA-backed bid for the SAFA presidency, the bizarre posse of unwanted Pirates who headed to promoted Chippa United shortly after their promotion or the PSL’s strange silence on the corruption charges against Bobby Motaung earlier this month.

But I won’t. I daren’t. Instead, chew over the four scenarios above. Understand that I have no bias here. It is in the interests of South African football to have an efficient administration, and we all know Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs are integral to the success of the PSL.

What I fear is this. If South African football is run as a monopoly, with the chairman having direct links to the president of the country, FIFA and/or CAF will act. Just as they threw Tunisia’s Etoile Sahel out of the African League after a missile-throwing crowd invasion last week, Pirates must put their ship in order.

Justice must be seen to be done. And, though Pirates fans won’t like it, the only way to do that is to appoint a neutral PSL chief and a new CEO. Not to mention a proper head of SAFA rather than a compromise candidate.

It won’t be painless. But in the long run, South African football will benefit.

Monday, 27 August 2012

A sad night at the Orlando Stadium: The lessons South African football MUST learn from Saturday's violence

Pirates ahoy: the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night. Picture: IOL
There are vital lessons to be learned for South African football after Saturday night's troubled scenes following SuperSport United's shock 3-0 win over Orlando Pirates in a stormy MTN8 semi-final.
What happened on Saturday night – Benni McCarthy’s indiscipline, inept stewarding, poor security – cannot be glossed over as the club run by PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza attempts to put right Saturday’s on-field problems.
These are not the rantings of an angry fan of either side. I was at the game, in the midst of the Orlando Pirates fans, with my friend Khotso Ditshego. We witnessed every minute of the trouble, and the aftermath as we walked home from the ground close to midnight. I have seen trouble break out at games in England, Demark and France... and grew up amid serious football violence in South Africa in the dark days under Apartheid.
Determined action must be taken to avoid a repeat. But I fear it won't.
According to (neither they nor Laduma, the two biggest SA soccer sites mentioned the match-stopping violence in their match reports), Pirates have been fined a total of R361 000 for four incidents since March 2011, "yet the club keeps getting penalised for more or less the same small amount, with the majority suspended".
The whole situation highlights the conflict of interest inherent in having a club chairman running the national league, we can only hope the Iron Duke recognises that and allows a rigorous inquiry into what happened at his own stadium.
Instead I suspect we will hear all about how referee Robert Smith was suspended last year for failing to send off an unnamed Jomo Cosmos player for an apparent red card offence against AmaZulu.
Pirates coach Augusto Palacios has already suggsted Smith was at fault for infuriating the Ghost, but this is NOT about inept refereeing.
Though PSL head of communications Connie Motshumi suggests there WILL be disciplinary proceedings, I predict a small fine and a rap over the knuckles for the PSL champions.
But here's what should happen. Benni McCarthy, despite his twittered apology on Sunday, should be fined and suspended by the club on top of the regulation PSL punishment for red card. His actions, rushing over to confront Franklin Cale after a foul on Daine Klate, inflamed the situation and ultimately cost Pirates the match. To his credit, Benni has admitted as much on twitter.
Secondly, the stewards should hauled over the coals for failing to apprehend bottle throwers, inept searches of fans entering the stadium and allowing entry to drunken supporters. Instead, they simply stood and watched as the missiles came down. In Europe, stewards immediately make their way in to the fans - no matter how angry they are - and eject offenders from the ground.
I'm not saying the Orlando stewards weren't brave - just unprepared for the trouble and lacking training in how to deal with such situations. In Britain, stewards DON'T watch the football, they spend the entire game with their backs to the action looking for troublemakers. They act immediately to forcibly remove missile throwers, racist chanters and fights. That's why they're there. 
Thirdly, the public address announcer failed to call for calm or an end to the throwing of bottles and fireworks - even when the game was briefly suspended when Rowen Fernandez' goal came under fire. The PA announced substitutions throughout, but failed to respond to the growing violence.
Fourthly, fans in rival shirts belonging to a third team must be turned away. The thought of attending a Spurs v Chelsea game in an Arsenal shirt is just unthinkable in London. The practice MUST be banned in South Africa. Specifically, Kaizer Chiefs fans must be told to remove their colours at Pirates matches, and vice versa.
And finally, Buccaneer fans, shocked to find a referee brave enough to brandish a red card in Orlando, should be excluded from the next home game – a “behind closed doors" policy UEFA regularly uses in these situations. It hits the club hard in the pocket and reinforces the punishment for bad behaviour.
These lessons, particularly the training of stewards, must be learned.
Otherwise South African football could find itself back in the bad old days of crowd violence, intimidation and poor policing that were a major part of the game here and in Europe thirty years ago. I know. I was there. And nobody wants that.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Storm brews as Sundowns turn down R5m Russian bid for Siyanda Xulu

To Russia with love: Sundowns defender Siyanda Xulu

MAMELODI SUNDOWNS have turned down a second offer for defender Siyanda Xulu from Russian club Rostov – their decision to reject a R5m bid for the 20-year-old has left his representative Paul Mitchell from Siyavuma Sports “very disappointed”.
Mitchell, who also oversaw Aaron Mokoena’s move to Wits last month, said: “It’s frustrating that the move for Siyanda has been turned down, we understand at the end of the day he’s a contracted player and Sundowns have every right to decide his value.
“But we feel that the over-inflated South African market is now starting to have an effect on young South African players leaving our shores for better things.
“Siyanda has always had a burning ambition to play overseas and has been promised if a reasonable offer came in, he would be allowed to leave. Unfortunately, the offer put forward has not been deemed reasonable by Sundowns and at the end of the day, he’s a contracted player.”
Mitchell took highly-ranked Xulu, poached from Kaizer Chiefs as a teenager, to Barcelona and Arsenal last season, provoking considerable interest. Mitchell said: “He was ready to go to Barca when they sacked their entire academy staff, then we organised a loan move to Atletico Madrid but Sundowns rejected that, they were worried he might lose confidence if, at the end of the loan, a permanent deal never happened.
“Arsene Wenger had a look at him and he liked what he saw. He said Siyanda was a perfect Premier League full-back, he just needed to get used to the physicality.
“Now we have this offer from Rostov, a major club in a big league. I can’t tell you how frustrating this is for a young player like Siyanda. He deserves his chance to play overseas. But as I will reiterate he’s a Sundowns player.”
Rostov, promoted to the increasingly lucrative Russian Premier League in 2008, finished mid-table last season, with Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa and Cameroon defender Benoit Angbwa among their current squad. The club has a unique link with South Africa -  Matthew Booth, Tony Coyle, Rowan Hendricks, Bennett Mnguni and Zaphet Zwane have all played in the popular tourist port.
Sundowns Dutch coach Johan Neeskens said: “If Rostov offer what Sundowns feel is a fair transfer fee then we’ll let him go. He’s a very talented defender and we deserve to get a good price for Siyanda.”
Mitchell added: “Look at the end of the day, we’re in the same position as when the Atletico offer was turned down. Siyanda showed tremendous maturity in brushing himself down and getting on with the job in hand at Sundowns. As we’ve discussed, Siyanda will continue to do his level best for Sundowns and Bafana Bafana.”
While Xulu is in limbo, his club-mate Mushekwi – top scorer in the Nedbank Cup last season -  is also struggling to be released by Sundowns after passing a medical with Bundesliga newcomers Greuthe Furth.
Mushekwi’s agent Ralph Nkomo is hoping the Tshwane Brazilians will accept a R10m bid for the 24-year-old, who has also attracted interest from Belgium’s Standard Liege and English Championship club Sheffield Wednesday after video footage of his six goals in the 24-0 Nedbank Cup victory over shocking Powerlines echoed around the footballing world.
Nkomo said: “We are preparing a proposal which will put Nyasha’s future in his own hands. We are obviously hoping this matter could be resolved.”

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

45 days: Chippa United set new record for shortest coaching reign

Chippa off the old block: Mpengesi appoints Mngqithi on July 9

Chippa United axed coach Manqoba Mngqithi just two games in to the new PSL season today, beating by ONE DAY the record held by Frenchman Jean Yves Kerjean, who was in charge of Black Leopards for just one League game in 2005.
After 180 minutes in the top flight,  a gutsy 1-0 defeat against big-spending Mamelodi Sundowns and an 87th-minute 2-1 defeat against Free State Stars last night, Mngqithi prounounced himself satisfied with his promoted team. He said: "We stood our ground and were unfortunate to concede a late goal. I'm very optimistic and confident from what I've seen.”
Former Golden Arrows and AmaZulu coach Mngqithi, who surprisingly replaced promotion-clinching coach Roger Sikhakane on July 9, obviously hadn’t considered how his pointless efforts had gone down with controversial club founder Siviwe Mpengesi. And he was promptly sacked this afternoon with Chippa team manager Wanda Mbenguza saying: “We have agreed to part ways with the coach.”
Mpengesi said on Umhlobo FM tonight: "There was no direction, and the future wasn't bright so we decided to let him go while it is still early, before a lot of damage can happen.” 
Mpengesi, a 34-year-old former security guard from Ngqamakwe in the Eastern Cape, has turned Chippa Investment Holdings (who do everything from tree-felling to industrial waste, security to conract cleaning) in to a multi-million corporation since 2002 and his football team, as we now know, demands similar gut-busting success.
When Sikhakane achieved promotion after play-offs against Thanda Royal Zulu and Santos, Mpengesi famously said: "Roger is a coach who understands our team culture; I can't afford to have someone that will come with a different philosophy. I am happy with the coach and the technical team and that will remain the same with no changes.”
That was July 3. By July 9, Mngqiti was appointed with a flourish, saying: “I am excited about the new prospect. I did my own homework on Chippa. We will be aiming very high in the season.”
Now, 45 days later, Mngqiti is jobless. As far as I can tell, Kerjean was in charge of the Leopards from June 27 to August 12, 2005 before an opening 1-0 defeat against a 10-man Orlando Pirates – that’s 46 days. It appears we have a new record in South African football management.
But then what should we expect from a two-year-old club, still in nappies in footballing terms? The club was only founded in June 2010, when they bought out Mbekweni Cosmos, a Castle League franchise at the time.
In their first season, the Chilli Boys won the Western Cape Province section of the Vodacom League registering 26 victories, 5 draws and only 1 defeat. Then they cruised through the Vodacom Promotional Championship play-offs in June 2011 to qualify for the National First Division last season. At that point 
Then Sikhakane helped the club to finish in the play-off places in the NFD behind champions AmaTuks – and the rest is history.
My old pal from Umlazi Bush Bucks in the 1980s Mlungisi “Professor” Ngubane – currently in charge of Thanda Royal Zulu - is being touted as the next Chippa coach, though I would suggest former Moroka Swallows boss Ian Gorowa may also be a contender. The Prof took over from Chippa’s first coach Mike Lukhubeni before Sikhakane was installed at the start of 2012.
Either way, they shouldn’t expect much of a honeymoon from Mpengesi. Still, 44 days is not as bad as the world record for a football boss.
That’s held by Leroy Rosenior, who was in charge of England’s Torquay United for a grand total of TEN MINUTES in 2007. He was appointed just as a local consortium took over the club and named former Exeter City assistant manager Paul Buckle as their manager instead.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A tale of suspension: The scandal of South Africa's National First Division which leaves Jomo Sono sidelined

Super Sono: will we ever see this again?

THERE is a scandal lurking beneath the surface of South Africa football which needs to be urgently addressed. It has nothing to do with Bobby Motaung’s dealings in Mbombela or the way Orlando Pirates go for the ball.
This is a far more pressing problem involving a missing teenager: What exactly has happened to the 16-year-old National First Division?
Last week, as the Premier Soccer League celebrated the return of ABSA, introduced the Q innovation and offered journalists R500,000 to predict results, we were told the NFD was “suspended until further notice”.
That’s like the Championship in England being called off a week after it was due to start… an unthinkable act of footballing foolishness.
Acting PSL CEO Cambridge Mokanyane, a controversial caretaker following the shock departure of Stanley Matthews at the end of last season, says we must now wait for a Special General Meeting “towards the end of August 2012” that will decide on the future of the NFD.
But exactly why Mokanyane was involved is hard to fathom, given that the members agreed just a week earlier that the NFD should be a stand-alone league in an effort to make it more viable as an attractive brand.
What we do know is this: relegated Premier League sides Jomo Cosmos and Santos, along with failed play-off contenders Thanda Royal Zulu, are now operating in a vacuum. They have resumed pre-season training and are paying large squads of professional players – but they have no fixture list and no prospect of a game – or promotion - in sight.
Jomo Sono, the larger-than-life proprietor of relegated PSL club Cosmos, insists: “I know both leagues because we have played in both of them for quite some time. It’s high time the NFD realised its potential in terms of competing for support and raising the level of competition on the field."
While the new-fangled PSL offers R1.5m to the quarterly winners of their top tier, the NFD remains dramatically sponsor-free and racked by legal action brought over the presence of various unregistered players last season.
Blackburn Rovers had a drawn out issue and just last week it was announced that Carara Kicks have been relegated from the league which South African football relies upon to feed clubs in to the Premier.
Though there is no date set for the “special meeting”,  the PSL – sponsors of the NFD when Mvelaphanda pulled out in 2007 - insist they will "deliberate and expand on the NFD matter" but nobody is willing to talk and the First division teams have NOT YET been give their R250 000 monthly grant (the Premier clubs receive R1m) though the PSL's head of communications Connie Motshumi insists thi will happen soon.
When the NFD split from the PSL, Jabu Khumalo, boss of long-running NFD side African Warriors, said: "We are confident that the stand-alone National First Division will grow as a big sporting brand in South Africa and on the continent.
"We have many companies that we intend approaching to sponsor us, including television companies to broadcast our matches."
But Khumalo insists the word “split” is too strong. He said: “It’s too strong to say split. It doesn’t perfectly describe what this is all about.
“There is the main body which runs both the PSL and the NFD, the NSL. Should this go ahead it will remain like that only that the NFD will not fall under the PSL as it has  in the past but will be a standalone league.
“We will then start mobilising sponsors and re-brand the league to make it more attractive to not only future funders but fans too.
“This will have a positive impact on South African football in the long run. We will continue to be a development league for the PSL but now we will  be giving them stronger teams and stronger players who can compete, raising the bar.”
Khumalo says: “The problem is that we have been overshadowed by the PSL for far too long and initially it will be hard but we can make it work.”
And we can only hope he’s right. A Premier League without a feeder system and, possibly, without promotion and relegation, is unthinkable.
This article appeared in today... if you have any information of the impact of the NFD suspension, please email me on

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Hawks swoop on Bobby Motaung: the son of Kaizer must fight for his rights

Under pressure: Bobby Motaung
BOBBY MOTAUNG was arrested by the Hawks today. Kaizer Chiefs haven’t had much to say about it, the police refuse to confirm it… but the word is he’s going to be charged with corruption, fraud and possibly more.

For those who live in peculiar Pofadder and no nothing about the world out there, Bobby is a major player in South African football. He is the son of Kaizer Motaung, who founded South Africa’s most popular club in 1972 after a glittering career in the NPSL.

While Kaizer happily played with and against the greats of the world game – Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and George Best – and earned a reputation as a great South African long before Apartheid was assigned to the dustbin, his son Bobby was gifted the job of a lifetime by his father.

Last season, when he was under-fire for the way he does the general manager’s job at Naturena, Bobby famously told us: “I didn’t need a CV for this career. Kaizer Chiefs is a family business. Nothing you can say will worry me. I wasn’t appointed by the ANC.”

I said at the time that attitude stinks – and his father backed me up, apologising for his son’s behaviour. I suggested Bobby’s youngest brother Kaizer Junior would be a better figurehead, or his sister Jessica, currently the club’s marketing manager.

But Bobby carried on serenely, signing players, doing deals, insisting Tower Mathoho should go from Bloemfontein Celtic to the Amakhosi, even though they were offering half of what Mamelodi Sundowns were prepared to pay.

There was that difficult time pre-season, when the Motaungs were in mourning for a family member and Bobby left Jessica to present his new signings. In a hurried affair timed to coincide with the arrival of new coach Stuart Baxter, they presented seven new players including Kingston Nkatha, who was still under contract at Leopards and, famously, the No3 shirt which they hoped Tower would one day wear. It was a farce.

And in their opening competitive game of the season, both Bobby and Baxter – who lied on his CV and was clearly the cheap, malleable choice – were holding their heads in their hands as Chiefs went 4-0 down against Sundowns in just 37 minutes on the way to a drubbing.

Of course, they went on to record a rousing 6-0 win over AmaZulu in their opening PSL clash last Saturday but it’s possible to see that result as a simple papering over of the cracks at the AmaKhosi.

The Hawks are refusing tonight to confirm the identities of the “two prominent people” arrested on theft and forgery charges “related to the construction of the R1 billion Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit in Mpumalanga.

Ironically, I’m about half-an-hour from the giraffe-adorned stadium at Mjejane River Lodge enjoying the wild life. I didn’t expect the big game to be hunted down quite so close to here. Understandably, Hawks Spokesperson McIntosh Polela “can neither confirm nor deny” that Bobby Motaung was picked up this morning.

But I can confirm Bobby is due to appear in court, one of THREE men who, according to Polela, are due to appear in court tomorrow.

Polela told the SABC: "It's regarding the alleged fraud forging of a South African Revenue Services (SARS) document to apply for a tender contract to work in relation to the Mbombela stadium. What happened is that the Hawks as well as SARS have arrested a person in Naturena as well as Cape Town and we are currently looking for a third person."

The fabulous Mbombela Stadium, built in the footballing wilderness just south of the Kruger Park on the road to Mocambinque, might have been better of had it been designed with white elephants rather than giraffes as a support structure.

And few need reminding that the Mbombela Local Municipality's speaker, Jimmy Mohlala, was gunned down at his home in Kanyamazane in 2009, after threatening to blow the whistle on the alleged corruption related to the tender and construction of the stadium.

I know nothing of such goings-on. Only that Bobby was warned he wasn’t above the rules of ordinary men. He may be the son of Kaizer, but from where I stand, he was never fit to lace the great man’s boots.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

If there are still gods on Mount Olympus, Caster Semenya will be crowned queen of the 800m again tonight

Going for gold tonight: Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya will bring South Africa to a halt tonight, just as Chad Le Clos did a week ago in the swimming pool. And, just like her butterflying compatriot, Semenya is EXPECTED to win gold over 800m at the Olympic Stadium in London.
That we should put that kind of pressure on a woman who has been through so much is both unfair and typical of this rainbow nation, where so much is expected by so many from so few in the sporting world.
But the lass from Limpopo herself appears unfazed. Just this morning, after an emphatic semi-final win of 1:57.67 on Thursday night, we read: “I was a bit nervous but this British crowd makes me feel at home and reminds me of good memories. I have to stretch out on the last 100m.
“It’s about putting on the spikes and just running. The time I ran makes me very confident. It’s about running your own race, you have to think of yourself and about yourself. You have to run a good time to get into the final and that’s what I did. I'm happy with that.
“Sometimes, if you want to run a good race, you have to forget about everybody, just think about your own race because it can disturb you.”
If there are any gods left on Mount Olympus, Caster – the fastest qualifier for tonight’s final – will see off reigning Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo of Kenya and dangerous Russian Elena Arzhakova who have both been in far better form than South Africa’s favourite athlete in the build-up to London 2012.
The complex story of Mokgadi Caster Semenya is perhaps summed up best by the girl from Ga-Masehlong herself. She says: "God made me the way I am and I accept myself."
Most South Africans, having seen the pain she went through at close quarters, would agree with that statement. So many foreign watchers are only too keen to ignore the subtlety of such self-examination.
It was when Semenya exploded on the world stage at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, with a scorching time of 1:55.45, that Caster became a household name… and her life was ruthlessly picked apart.
With nobody to protect her, with the world’s media desperately seeking lurid details, somebody leaked the news that Caster Semenya had been subjected to gender testing just THREE HOURS before the World Championship final.
Lamine Diack, the IAAF president, admitted to a “leak of confidentiality” and insisted his organisation had been “obliged to investigate” because Caster had improved by 25 seconds at 1500m and eight seconds at 800 m "the sort of dramatic breakthroughs that usually arouse suspicion of drug use."
As international anger at Caster’s exposure grew, the IAAF denied racism and claimed the test was not about suspected cheating but to discover is she was suffering from “a rare medical condition". Though the IAAF later apologised and let Caster keep her medal and prize money, Wilfred Daniels, Semenya's coach, resigned saying Athletics South Africa (ASA) "did not advise Ms Semenya properly". Then, in September 2009, ASA President Leonard Chuene admitted he too had subjected Semenya to gender checks, but hadn’t explained the true purpose of the tests to the runner.
With no scientific investigation, no real justification, Caster was withdrawn from international competition until 6 July 2010 – and only then did the IAAF clear her to return to competition with no cogent explanation for the ordeal she had been forced to go through.
Her parents and grandparents in Fairlie near Polokwane were subjected to endless questioning about her teen years as “a tomboy”, her headmaster at Nthema Secondary School was pounced on when he admitted she had worn trousers rather than a skirt in grade 11. All this was seen as evidence of something that rigorous science had emphatically disproved.
Semenya returned to take silver at the 2011 World Championships and has been working at the Pretoria University High Performance Centre – which produced world-record breaking breast-stroke golden boy Cameron van der Burgh and the Oarsome Foursome – to put herself back on top of the world of two-lap running.
Tonight we will see the results of that effort. And find out just how strong Caster Semenya is. Let nobody raise the issue of gender if Semenya is crowned the world’s 800m queen again tonight.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Less than 24 hours before the big PSL kick-off: Irvin Khoza brings us the Q innovation

The supreme leader: PSL and Pirates boss Irvin Khoza
This is the full text of Irvin Khoza’s amazing PSL press conference yesterday. With his own Orlando Pirates kicking-off the new season against Golden Arrows at 8pm tonight, the Iron Duke appeared completely unruffled by the last-minute nature of his announcement.
I guess when you run both the South African Professional Soccer League AND the double-treble winning club that has dominated that League for the last two years, you can do what you like.
In what he calls “the Q innovation” Khoza announced that there would be R1.5m cash prizes awarded to the teams that finish top of the PSL at the end of each quarter, with the eventual title winners earning R10m. I think what Khoza is saying is that there will be four mini-leagues (Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4) all added up to a final table.
I don’t think I have ever seen the regulations of a league championship announced on the same day that the competition kicks off, not even at amateur level – but that’s not to say it’s not an interesting innovation.
My beef is with the non-sponsorship of the NFD and the offering of huge sums to journalists for correctly predicting results. That can't be right. Without any further ado, here is the FULL text of PSL chairman Khoza’s announcement this morning from the PSL official website. I'm off to dry the washing.

I have said time and time again that you cannot dry today’s washing with yesterday’s sun.
What was good enough yesterday might not be enough tomorrow. Knowing the real reasons why you are successful helps you hone in on what works and discard what doesn’t.
Sometimes it is not what you are doing but how you are doing it. Ours has become a world of instant gratification where ‘now’ is the only time. In case you are wondering where I am headed with all these philosophical annotations, here is where?
I have called you here ladies and gentlemen of the media to announce an innovation to the ABSA Premiership. It is an innovation borne out a careful sustained examination of the PSL against a backdrop contained in the annotations I made earlier.
There is no doubt that the ABSA Premiership has become a competitive league that is guaranteed to go to a photo finish season after season. In fact in the last five years the ABSA Premiership was decided in the final matches played simultaneously under circumstances where duplicate trophies and helicopters were held on ‘stand by’.
There is heightened excitement and conversation from the last eight fixtures of the league. This conversation transcends club support. It is about the permutations and probabilities.
It is about performance of teams against their rivals where factors such as venue, time of day even day of the week seem to have a bearing. It is about factors as rational as for example rival teams fighting for title contention versus a place in the top eight or avoiding relegation, to factors as irrational as teams and venues dubbed ‘hoo-doo’ teams and venues against certain teams.
The PSL Executive has therefore decided to add an innovation to the ABSA Premiership that will create and sustain the excitement and conversation experienced in the final eight fixtures of the premiership, to last for all of each team’s thirty fixtures of the season.
To achieve this, the ABSA Premiership League will from this season, from today, be divided into Four Quarters, Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4. Q1 will have eight fixtures; Q2 seven; Q3 eight and Q4 seven. This means after every team has played eight games Q1 is over and Q2 starts with the re-set.
Similarly after every team has played an additional seven games Q2 will be complete and Q3 will commence with the re-set. So will Q4 commence after every team has played eight games in Q3 and the re-set.
This innovation is called the Q-innovation.
There will be a prize of R1.5 million for the teams that finish the different quarters at the top. This is over and above the R10 million prize for the overall ABSA Premiership League winner.
The prize money for the winner of the ABSA Premiership and the four Quarters is R16 million.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the greatest benefit from this innovation is how it makes every game count - every single one of the 240 ABSA Premiership games. It migrates the conversation from ‘just my club’s games’ to ‘every game played’.
Scenarios like, “How is the club that is an equal contender for the top spot against us is going to fare against the team we just drew against today or yesterday”, creates an across the board interest in all the games of the league in real time. It is like watching games on a split screen, all with a bearing on each other.
I am describing this conversation in singular and not plural although there are millions of supporters and fans conversing. I deliberately did not call it conversations because although millions are conversing, they are conversing about different aspects of the same topic. It is this convergence in conversation that this innovation seeks to consolidate.
This conversation happens in your different media platforms. The millions of supporters and fans consume their soccer through your reports and broadcasts. It is through your observations, words and images that the excitement and conversation are fuelled. Your words and images – written, heard and seen.
It is for this reason that we decided to not limit the excitement and competition to the teams alone. The PSL Executive has therefore decided to challenge you ladies and gentlemen of the media to make predictions based on your experience and thorough knowledge of the teams, game and conditions. You are after all doing this week in and week out.
The difference is that you will be submitting your predictions to the Auditors – Delloite.
The forms will be sent to every journalist on our Green 4 CRM system that is used, amongst other things, to send you invitations and media releases. This is to ensure that no journalist covering the ABSA Premiership is excluded.
The forms will require you to provide, amongst other things, your id numbers for verification purposes. It is important that you provide the information requested in the form.
As experts and celebrities in this space, your predictions will make for interesting reading. Especially since you are expected to get it all right given you only have to predict win, lose or draw – and not the scores.
With it being the nature of the beast, it expected that you will advance creative and compelling reasons for your predictions, especially the ones that miss the mark.
At the end Q1 the names of the winners, those that correctly predicted the team and points of the team that will win Q1, will be put into a draw. The winner will win R500 000 in the three categories of print, radio and television.
Your will be required to enter your predictions for the first four fixtures win, lose or draw. At the end of each team’s fourth fixture you will be requested to enter your prediction for Q1 winning team and points it will win by.
These will be kept by Delloite until the end of Q1 when the draw will be made. If not one entry predicts the correct team and points, the entries correctly identifying the team will be put into a draw from which the winner will be drawn.
The prize for the winner will in this case be R250 000 for each category – print, radio and television.
Entries for this weekend fixture, which is game one for every team this season, will close at 19h00 this evening.
Entries for all subsequent fixtures will be due one hour before kick-off of first game in that fixture block.
For example the deadline for the game 2 fixture will be 18h30 on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 for all the game 2 fixtures taking place on Wednesday 21 August and Thursday 22 August. Entries should be emailed to this email address:
The PSL has extensively consulted and enquired if this competition involving journalists that cover its space raises any ethical issues.
We are satisfied that just like journalism awards recognise and reward journalist without compromising the integrity of the profession, this competition does not compromise the ethics and integrity of the journalist covering the ABSA Premiership.
This inclusive competition will instead enhance the job already performed by the journalist in this space without any negative influence. You ladies and gentlemen are already making these predictions. All that is added is that you will be doing the prediction with a possibility of recognition and reward for you or charity.
I am mentioning charity as the PSL Executive has provided for journalists who are precluded from winning prize money by their employers or for any other reason can nominate a charity of their choice to be a recipient beneficiary of their prize.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Anaso Jobodwane takes on Usain Bolt tonight: but he nearly missed out on London

Right on track: Jobodwane and Bolt last night

ANASO JOBODWANE finds himself listed among the eight fastest men on the planet over 200m tonight at 21.55 South African time – but he very nearly missed out on the London Olympics altogether.
The 20-year-old from King William’s Town heralded a revolution in South African sprinting last night when he chased double-100m gold medallist Usain Bolt to the line in the 200m semi-final, the only man to give the giant Jamaican a run for his money.
Afterwards he said: "I wasn't thinking about how tough it was racing against Bolt, I just wanted to run my own race. I ran the bend well, I'll have to look at the tape to see how I did. I was gunning for a semi-final, it's a bonus now. It was amazing to be on the tail of Usain Bolt. Beat him in the final? Hahaha! Next few years!"
Few expected that swift feat from Jobodwane after he spent most of 2011 out with injury – and was named as a “late addition” to Team South Africa after meeting SASCOC’s stuper-stringent qualifying standards just two weeks before the deadline.
Nobody doubts the “Ambitious Jay” pedigree. Two years ago, as a student at Selborne College, Jobodwane won the South African schools 200m in a record 20.95secs.
Then he became an All-American track and field champion with an indoor time of 20.66secs.  That was followed by an outdoor time of 20.32 in March while studying biology at Jackson State University in Mississippi – well within the Olympic “A” qualifying time of 20.55.
While that would have been enough for most national Olympic selection panels, SASOC requires TWO of those “A” qualifying times, a dubious policy which saw Africa 100m champion Simon Magakwe fail to make the team for London despite equalling the South Africa record of 10.07secs and running under 10 seconds in training.
With that sort of snub in mind, Jobodwane left his studies in the USA to focus on qualifying for London 2012 – which he finally did with a time of 20.50 to take victory at the obscure 17th Miner’s Day International Athletics Meeting in the remote Slovenian town of Velenje.
On July 4, he was one of the 14 athletes added to South Africa’s original team of125 named on June 6. But with no sprint medal won by South Africa since 1910, when Durban’s Reggie Walker became the world’s youngest Olympic 100m champion in London, few thought Jobodwane would emerge as a finalist.
Before last night’s personal best of 20.27, Jobodwana's best time of 20.32 seconds ranked him 22nd in the world this year. Afterwards, he added: “I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I didn't expect it... I was just going out there to run a personal best. So I got that and I got to the final - a bonus.”
Having just turned 20, Jobodwane has a lot in common with Chad le Clos, the man who won gold and silver in the pool for South Africa last week. Like Chad, Anaso said before London he would be happy to use 2012 as preparation for Rio in 2016. And like Le Clos, he finds himself up against a legend.
But where Le Clos – who arrived back in Johannesburg this morning to a hero’s welcome - edged out Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly final by 0.05 of a second, Jobodwane surely has no chance of pipping the lightning Bolt to the line – or his Jamaican team-mate Yohan Blake.
After Bridgette Hartley’s bronze – South Africa’s fifth medal – in the K1 500 at Dorney this morning, Jobodwane would do well to finish in the top five (he'd have to run under 20 seconds for the first time in his life to get close to a medal) while Sunette Viljoen, second in qualifying, goes for gold in the javelin tonight and Caster Semenya runs in the 800m semi-finals at 8.30pm.
Still, like Le Clos, Jobodwane appears to have a father who is a bit of a character. Mkhuseli Jobodwana, director of remand administration at the Department of Correctional Services head office in Pretoria, told The New Age: “I am very excited. Do you even need to ask what we’ll do for my boy when he gets back?
“We are going to have a huge traditional celebration at our village in Khwetyana in the Eastern Cape because he didn’t only make us proud, but the entire village and country.
“We will slaughter two or more fat cows as one will not be enough.”

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

DON'T PANIC: Bobby's message to the AmaKhosi as the PSL kick-off looms

Sorry performance: Itumeleng Khune apologised to AmaKhosi

THE BIG PSL kick-off looms, and nowhere will pre-season nerves be jangling more than in the big, shiny dressing room for the away team at the fabulous Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
That’s where Kaizer Chiefs and their bruised egos will be sat, their pre-match preparation dominated by memories of last Sunday at a packed Loftus Versfeld, where Mamelodi Sundowns – four goals to the good after just 37 minutes - crushed the mighty AmaKhosi 4-1 in the most one-sided of the MTN8 quarter-finals last weekend.
With DON’T PANIC signs plastered on every furrowed forehead, who will be most worried? Stuart Baxter, the new coach, who is under pressure before the league has even started? Captain Itumeleng Khune, whose amazing on-field rant featured so prominently on our television screens? Zimbabwean defender Lincoln Zvasiya, so clearly out of his depth at right-back last Sunday?
Nope. I reckon it’s Bobby Motaung who will be on the verge of a nervous breakdown come 6pm on Saturday. The son of club founder Kaizer, general manager Bobby has grown up with black-and-gold teddy bears, Chiefs replica shirts and AmaKhosi adulation all his life.
Now, the man who said just last season he would never need to worry about his future employment with “the family business” finds the side he assembled for Baxter is being roundly lambasted by football pundits, rivals – and even the estimated 15 million AmaKhosi.
On Monday, as the shock waves of that Sundowns defeat were still reverberating around the nation, Bobby told SuperSport: "It’s understandable our army of supporters are feeling some pain. Losing is one thing. But conceding four goals in little more than the opening 30 minutes is something else.
“It was hard to believe - we thought we had all the bases covered. But we're all only human and capable of having an off-day. I don't think there is any cause to panic.
"But remember, we would have beaten Orlando Pirates the week before had we not conceded a careless injury-time goal. I believe the hiccups will be eliminated.”
Hiccups? With a back-four now featuring newly-signed international defenders Sibonso Gaxa, Tower Mathoho and Morgan Gould, Khune was forced to deliver a grovelling apology to fans on the official Kaizer Chiefs website which included the immortal line: “The players are as humiliated as the fans by this result.”
And of course, the smooth-talking, CV-massaging Englishman Baxter issued the standard: “The players will bounce back. I know it is a big task, but they will.”
Beset by some nasty pre-season injuries – talismanic Siphiwe Tshabalala was forced to watch last week’s debacle from the packed stands – neither Baxter, Bobby nor Khune have explained exactly how they plan to turn things around with re-signed Siyabonga Nkosi looking erm... resigned to allowing Teko Modise to walk all over him last week.
Still, it’s only AmaZulu. They were crushed 2-0 by Moroka Swallows in the MTN8 and offer Chiefs the perfect chance for immediate redemption.
At Chloorkop, the issues are reversed. Sundowns now have a problem keeping great expectations in check as they prepare to play newly-promoted Chippa United in Atteridgeville.
But their boss Johan Neeskens is happy to put everything on the line, insisting: "I always put myself under pressure, I want to win something this year, if not, if I don't win anything or do well maybe I must step down because I think it is time that we win something."
Now there’s a man who puts his future where his mouth is. With double-treble winners Orlando Pirates looking formidable and Wits signing a host of top names, we’re in for a fascinating championship.
My predictions for week one of the PSL:
Friday (8pm):
Orlando Stadium: Orlando Pirates 3, Golden Arrows 1
Cape Town Stadium: Ajax Cape Town 1, SuperSport United 1
Saturday (3pm):
Peter Mokabe Stadium: Black Leopards 0, Bloemfontein Celtic 0
Goble Park: Free State Stars 0, Bidvest Wits 2
Moses Mabhida Stadium (6pm):  AmaZulu 0, Kaizer Chiefs 1
Lucas Moripe Stadium: (8.15pm): Mamelodi Sundowns 3, Chippa United     0
Sunday (3pm):
Tuks Stadium: AmaTuks 1, Maritzburg Utd 1
Royal Bafokeng Palace: Platinum Stars 0, Moroka Swallows 1

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Stuart Baxter: the honest truth about Kaizer Chiefs and their coach

Your number's up: Kaizer Chiefs trio Baxter, Nkosi and Jessica Motaung
IT'S one thing to be 4-0 down after 37 minutes of your opening competitive game of the season. It's quite another to be a Kaizer Chiefs fan and hear that your coach, Stuart Baxter, has been economical with the truth.
When I spoke to Joe Mann on Metro FM's popular Sports Centre (now known as 083 Sports@6) last night, I was asked for my views on the opening weekend of MTN8 action and I dropped the bombshell: "Stuart Baxter lied about his CV, and I never thought he was a good choice to coach a big club like Kaizer Chiefs."
Of course, I didn't just talk about Chiefs. I pointed out how well Mamelodi Sundowns had played in their emphatic 4-1 thumping of the AmaKhosi at a packed Loftus Versfeld. How the oft-lamented Teko Modise had pulled all the strings - and how good debutant striker Edward Manqele looked.
Oh, I also questioned the penalties given and not given in Orlando Pirates squeaky 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic, the efficiency of SuperSport United in their 2-1 win over Free State Stars and praised Moroka Swallows for producing the one result I predicted wrong - an emphatic 2-0 win over AmaZulu despite the recent departure of Gordon Igesund to Bafana Bafana.
But it was my critique of Chiefs which attracted the most responses, some of it abusive, on the social networking sites. It was a bit of a shock. I made my first appearance with Robert Marawa on Metro during the 2010 World Cup and have been chatting away with the great man regularly since, on television and radio.
So, am I, as some would have it an "air head" who, as another suggests "knows nothing about football"? Do I hate Kaizer Chiefs? Do I have a hidden agenda? Of course not. I am, as I told Joe on Monday night, a lifelong football player who played over 3,000 games, a coach, a referee, a lover of the game, particularly in South Africa where so many of my ilk deride "local football" as rubbish.
I never reached great heights as a player, though you will see pictures of me winning the FA Over 35s Christian World Cup on my Facebook page in 2010, aged 49.
As a youngster I was coached by England manager Roy Hodgson who told me I would never make it as a player, I was picked for Northern Transvaal schoolboys and South African Universities and trained with Umlazi Bush Bucks as young journalist in Durban. I was never good enough to make Clive Barker's first team, not with the title-winning side he and Lawrence "Big Bear" Ngubane had put together.
Then, as a conscientious objector and political exile, I spent 1985-2010 in England, playing two or three games a week in the local leagues as I learned my trade on the Mirror, Daily Mail and Sky TV.
I returned to South Africa for the England cricket tour and World Cup in 2010, fell in love with the place and a local lawyer - all over again and stayed to look after my doddery dad in Centurion.
I have no bias against Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates. Just huge admiration for the two giants of South African football. But if I see something wrong, something dodgy, I'll raise the issue. Unlike so many in the media here, I have no in-built fear of Irvin Khoza or Kaizer Motaung - or his son Bobby. 
In the UK, I have been told to "f*** off" late at night by Sir Alex Ferguson and was once confronted by a mob of angry Birmingham fans in North London. I have seen Millwall late at night, been to European games where riots have broken out. After those incidents, and many like it, you tend to do your job regardless of the insults. As long as you stick to what you believe to be the truth.
I tell it like I see it. And that's what I continue to do, though it has lost me many friends over the past two years in South African sports journalism.
When Baxter arrived, I wrote stories like these, some of which were re-published in local newspapers and websites.
But if it's the truth about Stuart Baxter you want, it's to be found here:
Written by the Johannesburg Star's Jonty Mark on May 11, I've given you the full story below. Robert Marawa had Bobby Mataung in the next day to discuss Baxter's lies. He couldn't - or wouldn't - explain the anomalies. Baxter has never explained the holes in his CV. And this is the man put in charge of South Africa's biggest club. So now it's your choice. Read what is written below. You decide if I was right or not. 

Embellishing your CV is hardly a new trait, but Stuart Baxter really ought to be a little more careful.
The new Kaizer Chiefs coach, in an interview with The Star on Thursday, did his best to make his time in between coaching Bafana Bafana and the Amakhosi look, shall we say, as effervescent as possible.
Baxter resigned from the Bafana job in November 2005, after failing to qualify the team for the 2006 Fifa World Cup. His return to South Africa and the Amakhosi came as a surprise to many, when it was confirmed last week.
Whatever Baxter said in meeting with Chiefs president Kaizer Motaung persuaded the Amakhosi chairman that the 58-year-old Englishman was the right man for the job.
Yet one hopes Baxter was not as generous with the facts as he was on Thursday. The Chiefs coach’s first strange claim was that upon leaving Bafana he “went to Japan for one year and won the title”.
Closer inspection reveals that in 2006, Baxter’s Vissel Kobe finished third in the Japanese second division, winning promotion to the top-flight through a play-off.
That’s a “title”?
Baxter then went off to Helsingborgs in Sweden, a country where he lifted the Allsvenskan title in 1998 with AIK Stockholm.
“When I went to Helsingborgs they were third bottom and we finished third.
“We also got to the last 16 of the Europa League,” said Baxter on Thursday.
Another swift check of the facts, however, and Helsingborgs actually finished fourth in the 2008 Allsvenskan, and reached only the last 32 of the 2007/8 Europa League (the Kaizer Chiefs statement on Baxter’s appointment this week also states that he reached the last 16).
These exaggerations extend to Baxter’s time with the Finnish national team, who he joined in 2008.
The Chiefs coach correctly noted that Finland had drawn twice with Germany in a decent World Cup 2010 qualifying campaign.
But the truth was once again loose as he went into their failed Euro 2012 qualification.
According to Baxter, Finland “got beaten 2-1 by Holland, lost to Moldova when we had Sami Hyppia sent off five minutes, in, and came back and drew with Hungary.
“It was very difficult to qualify. I said to the Finnish FA that I wanted to get back into club football, and spend more time with my daughter.” (Baxter’s daughter fell very ill when he was in Japan, one of the main reasons he went back to Scandinavia).
Well, Finland did lose 2-1 to Holland and did have Hyppia sent off in a 2-0 loss to Moldova (in the 36th minute, not the fifth), but they also lost 2-1 to Hungary.
It is difficult to believe how anyone could make this succession of mistakes accidentally, and has to cast Baxter in a slightly dappled light even before he has started his work with Chiefs.
No wonder, if he believes his own story, that the Chiefs coach says: “I don’t think I have to prove anything to anybody. I must just make sure the players enjoy training and the supporters enjoy what they are watching.” – The Star