Rhulani Mokwena has not been seen on the bench since new coach Josef Zinnbauer was appointed. Photo: Kabelo Leputu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza has dismissed talk that assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena has resigned from the club, warning about the danger of gossip without any basis.

Mokwena has not been seen on the bench since new coach Josef Zinnbauer was appointed.

Before the German coach’s arrival at Parktown, Mokwena held the reins but the Buccaneers’ ship appeared to sink under his watch. The young mentor joined Pirates from Mamelodi Sundowns three seasons ago as an assistant coach.

Following the sudden departure of Milutin Sredojevic, the Sea Robbers appointed him as interim head coach.

After the club appointed the German, speculation surfaced that Mokwena wanted to exit the club but the chairman rejected his request.

When quizzed about the rumour, Khoza was not in a mood to entertain speculation.

“I’m an old man. You can talk to me about rumours. You know me, I don’t talk about rumours. People die because of rumours, so please let us not talk about rumours,” he said.

“I don’t hide anything mina (myself) and why you ask me about rumours? Please don’t phone me and ask me about rumours. I’m an old man. I don’t talk about gossip,” an agitated Khoza added.

He said Mokwena is on study leave and that’s why he hasn’t been seen at recent matches for the Buccaneers.

“You want me to gossip now. If you were saying I’ve got a letter of Rhulani’s resignation then we can talk.

“I’m an old man, I give respect to everyone and I also should be respected. I don’t gossip,” Khoza added.

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Pirates seem to have turned the corner under the regime of Zinnbauer as they are yet to taste defeat. The Sea Robbers have collected seven points out of a possible nine in the Premiership. They defeated Black Leopards and Polokwane City and shared the spoils with Bloemfontein Celtic.

“The fact that you (can) get hold of me, it shows that I’m not hiding anything. What do you want me to do now? Do you want me to lie now? Hhawu kahle wena! (don’t do that),” Khoza stated.

Pirates face a daunting task if they are serious about challenging league leaders and arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

They need to go on a serious run and hope that Chiefs go through a slump, which is the only way Bucs can get close to the top.



The Mercury

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