No, Kaizer! Not in your name, please!
Kaizer “Chincha Guluva” Motaung is one of the football administrators I respect the most.
To find a true gentleman in the sport, you don’t have to look any further than him.
What he has done, since leaving Orlando Pirates in 1969, is humongous and his achievements are legendary.
However, the story of goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma, which was broken by Sunday World last month and taken further by Sowetan this week, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
To those who might not be familiar with the story, it goes that Bvuma, who was roped into the Kaizer Chiefs first team in March following injuries to their two regular goalkeepers, is on a R5 000 monthly salary.
Initially, the club denied this and said the players’ union had revealed a figure contained in the player’s apprentice contract.
However, this week’s story opened a further can of worms as it was confirmed that the 22-year-old player was indeed being paid
R5 000 a month on contract, which increased to R8 000 on July 1. According to the contract, he will earn R15 000 in 2020 – when he turns 25.
If this is indeed the case, it is a crying shame.
The newspaper also carried a copy of a section of the contract, which bore what is reportedly Motaung’s signature.
If this is true, it is in sharp contrast to the Chincha who left Pirates under protest and in solidarity with players expelled by the club.
Besides his impeccable record as an astute businessman, Motaung has also entrenched himself as an activist.
He was at the coalface of the big 1985 soccer split that led to the formation of the National Soccer League – from the National Professional Soccer League and their then mother body the SA National Football Association (Sanfa).
The breakaway was caused by the injustice that professional football clubs endured under the iron-fist rule of Sanfa.
Even Chiefs was founded on sound principles that included looking after their players and paying them well.
In exchange, the players were expected to be good ambassadors for the club wherever they went, even after retirement.
So Bvuma’s case is in stark contrast to that for which we believe Chiefs stand.
I call on Motaung to take this matter seriously, investigate it and correct it.
Although menial tasks such as the signing of players, as well as the structuring of their salaries, might not directly fall under his ambit, the buck stops with him.
Motaung is also the chair of the Premier Soccer League finance committee, a money-spinner that recently doled out millions to its clubs to help them prepare for the upcoming season, along with performance bonuses to executive committee members, of which he is one.
One hopes that rather than embark on childish, punitive measures against the player – who seems to be an innocent victim at this stage – Amakhosi will do the right thing and fix this mess.
It would be even more sad, and leave South African football with yet another black eye, if the player who has featured for Bafana Bafana suffered further victimisation because of this matter.
Instead, the club should learn from this debacle and never again get caught up in such an embarrassing situation.