Justin Shonga
Justin Shonga

Senzo Mbatha sets record straight after Justin Shonga transfer rumours

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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DURBAN - Tanzanian champions Simba Soccer Club have dismissed their reported interest in the services of Justin Shonga.

Senzo Mbatha, chief executive of the Tanzanian giants, is a former Orlando Pirates administrator and his current club have been linked with the services of the Buccaneers forward, but he dismissed any chance of the club capturing the signature of the Zambian.

Shonga has struggled to command a regular starting berth under the tutelage of German coach Josef Zinnbauer at the Sea Robbers this season.

In an interview with the South African Football Journalists Association (Safja) on Sunday, Mbatha set the record straight about Shonga.

“The stories making the rounds that Simba are pursuing Shonga are incorrect,” said Mbatha.

“It is certain individuals in certain corners of the country here in Tanzania and in South Africa that have pushed this narrative that there’s an interest from Simba for (Shonga).

“There’s currently no interest to acquire the services of (Shonga).”

Shonga arrived in SA to much fanfare, but he is yet to fulfil his full potential.

“He is a very good player for Zambia. I think he can add value to my club, but we have a number of players who are playing in his position. If I were to lose one of those players, maybe I’ll consider Shonga, but for now there’s no interest from Simba,” Mbatha explained. Shonga is on a high wage package at Pirates, which clearly indicates that he won’t come cheap for any club that wants to sign him.

“Someone asked me about Shonga. If you look at his package, you need to be realistic as well and say, ‘can we afford this,’” Mbatha continued.

“We don’t want to create an artificial economy that has started to creep into our league back home in South Africa. People have created an artificial economy.

“We don’t want to compete with someone who is paying R100 000 (for example) and your revenue is sitting at R1million That’s where the problem starts.

“We shouldn’t be excited and think that we’ve arrived, while we’ve not. Slowly but surely we will get there.”

During his time in SA, Mbatha also worked as an administrator at Platinum Stars, where he won two Cup competitions.

“All of us are hit hard, but does that mean we can’t go into the market? No. Last week we had a meeting where we discussed the positions that we need to reinforce,” Mbatha said.

“Once that is finished, the report will go back to the chairman for his approval so that we can recruit certain players in certain positions.

“That process can’t stop, however. It will make it difficult for you to go for the players that you like.”


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