DURBAN – Zambian international Justin Shonga, who is plying his trade with Orlando Pirates, may be sidelined for a while after news emerged that he has signed with two different clubs.
Independent Media believes that Shonga penned two contracts, with Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates respectively.
Shonga made his debut for Pirates this past weekend when they played to a 2-2 stalemate with Polokwane City.
“Shonga signed two contracts, with Sundowns and Pirates. His issue may drag,” a well-placed source stated.
Sundowns spokesperson Thulani Thuswa confirmed that Shonga has a contract with Abafana Ba Style.
“Yes, the boy signed a contract with Sundowns in July. He signed a five-year contract. It was three years with an option to renew with two years.
“Our legal team is having a look at the matter and we will then refer our contract to the Premier Soccer League. We are pursuing the matter.
“Shonga was supposed to join us in January, but couldn’t join us in this transfer window because we have already exceeded our foreign quota,” Thuswa elaborated.
Orlando Pirates administrative manager Floyd Mbele insisted that Shonga is their player.
“All I know is that Shonga is our player. I’m not aware of any other contracts,” Mbele explained.
An attempt to get hold of Nkwazi FC bosses – where Shonga played in Zambia – proved futile as Davids Chimbelengwe and Robert Makwalala’s phones rang unanswered on Wednesday.
Independent Media spoke with one of South Africa’s top lawyers about Shonga’s situation, who said that Pirates may be in danger of losing the point they earned against Polokwane City if Shonga’s contract with them was not valid.
“The first matter here is the validity of the contract since the player signed with two teams. The contract that he signed first is the one that is valid. The second is invalid.
“The second matter will be, did Pirates know when they signed the player that he has already signed with Sundowns?” explained the lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“If yes, then Pirates might be docked points in each and every game that Shonga played. In this case he has already played one, which means Polokwane City will be given three points in this case since the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
“But if Pirates didn’t know about the contract that Shonga signed with Sundowns, if there is any, then the player is in trouble.
“Pirates can’t be punished if they didn’t know about the first contract he signed before he signed with them. The player may face the sanction where he will be banned for a certain number of matches.
“I believe Sundowns will refer the matter to the PSL, and the PSL will give both sides an opportunity to come up with a solution. If they fail (to do so), then the matter will be referred to the PSL Dispute Resolution Chamber.”