High­landers foot­ball pres­i­dent Mh­langa dies

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

HIGH­LANDERS Foot­ball Club pres­i­dent Jonathan Themba Mh­langa has died. He was 81.

Mh­langa, who had been un­well for some­time died at around 4PM yes­ter­day at Pre­mier Hos­pi­tal in Hill­side, Bulawayo.

His son, Lenox, said the fam­ily had lost a pil­lar of strength but be­lieves the old man has rested.

“He passed on at 4PM to­day (yes­ter­day) and while death can­not be cel­e­brated we feel the old man has rested,” said Lenox. He de­scribed his fa­ther as a very sup­port­ive par­ent. “He was quite sup­port­ive and I be­lieve his ‘fam­ily’ was big­ger than us as he took care of a num­ber of is­sues from the field of pol­i­tics, busi­ness and in­deed sport. Him and the likes of Zwam­bila and the late High­landers pa­tron Tafi Moyo were the pioneers of black busi­ness in the city,” said Lenox.

His fa­ther de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in sport in the 1960s when he came back from Cape Town in South Africa where he be­came the first black man­ager of a shop in the city.

“This is where he met the po­lit­i­cal hi­er­ar­chy, the likes of Fa­ther Zim­babwe Joshua Nkomo among oth­ers. Most of the po­lit­i­cal strate­gis­ing was done in that Jewish owned shop. It was from his busi­nesses that he was to start his long life with High­landers when they were asked as black busi­ness­men to pour funds into the club, that was in the 1970s,” he said.

Mh­langa was given the post of treasurer since he was the one keep­ing those do­nated funds.

“They prac­ti­cally funded High­landers from their pock­ets,” said Lenox.

High­landers’ long time bene­fac­tor and Min­is­ter of Wel­fare Ser­vices for War Vet­er­ans, War Col­lab­o­ra­tors, Former Po­lit­i­cal De­tainees and Restrictees, Tshinga Dube, who vis­ited the Mh­langa fam­ily home yes­ter­day said the de­ceased was a pil­lar of the club.

“When we were young he was al­ways at the fore­front or­gan­is­ing High­landers is­sues. He was a re­spected man and I think it will be hard for the club to find a per­son like him. He sac­ri­ficed a lot for the club,” said Dube, who is also Makokoba MP.

Dube said Mh­langa also played a very ac­tive po­lit­i­cal role dur­ing the strug­gle and at one time sur­vived an at­tempt on his life by the set­tler regime who opened fire at his house when they saw peo­ple gath­ered.

“They thought it was a Zapu gath­er­ing yet it was just peo­ple in a High­landers meet­ing,” said Dube.

Mh­langa is sur­vived by wife Marvis, seven chil­dren, three girls and four boys, 13 grand­chil­dren and two great-grand­chil­dren.

Fu­neral ar­range­ments will be an­nounced in due course.

Mourn­ers are gath­ered at Num­ber 25 Antrim Road, Mat­sheumhlophe, Bulawayo.

The late Jonathan Themba Mh­langa

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