Siviwe Mpengesi wielding his Chippa United axe - ‘a strategic move to bolster the club’

Chippa United Chairman Siviwe Mpengesi during the 2018 Nedbank Cup Final between Maritzburg United and Free State Stars at Cape Town Stadium

In his wisdom, Siviwe Mpengesi (pictured right) has replaced Morgan Mammila with co-coaches Thabo September and Kwanele Kopo for Chippa United, neither of whom have experience at Premiership level. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Jan 11, 2024


Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi, the Chippa United chairman, can never be accused of being inconsistent.

When results are not forthcoming, the brutal Mpengesi turns to the axe to snap the run of poor results.

And that is what Mpengesi has been doing for years whenever he felt the need to revive Chippa United’s flagging fortunes.

The Chilli Boys closed out last year with a single win in their last five DStv Premiership games and hovering above the relegation zone.

Relegation zone lurks beneath

After 16 matches, Chippa are in 13th place with 18 points, only five clear of Richards Bay, who are in the relegation zone in 15th spot.

Mpengesi, who was given the nickname of Orlando Pirates legend Percy “Chippa” Moloi during his playing days, has axed Morgan Mammila as head coach, after he took the blame for the team’s dreadful finish to 2023.

Mammila, a close friend of Mpengesi, will no longer be in the team’s dugout when Chippa resume their season on February 14 against Pirates.

Instead, the burly Mammila will be sitting in the stands as Chippa’s new technical director.

In his wisdom, Mpengesi has replaced Mammila with co-coaches Thabo September and Kwanele Kopo, neither of whom have experience at Premiership level. If it goes well, they will be at the helm for the remainder of the 2023/24 season.

Kopo is a former Bafana Bafana and SA Under-23 assistant coach, and a few months ago, he refused a Chippa offer to become Mammila’s assistant.

September has been coaching the SuperSport United reserves, and has been doing excellent work with the club’s development players.

“In a strategic move to bolster our club’s vision and future, our current head coach, who has admirably led the team for 16 games and secured 18 points, will be transitioning into the role of technical director for the remainder of the season,” Chippa announced via a statement on Tuesday night.

Leverage his extensive experience

“This change allows us to leverage his extensive experience and knowledge in a role that is crucial for the club’s long-term strategy and success. The club welcomes Thabo September and Kwanele Kopo, both highly respected figures in the football community, as our new co-coaches.

“Thabo September, a former professional player, brings a wealth of on-field experience and understanding of the game. Kwanele Kopo, born and bred in Uitenhage and renowned as a teacher of the game, offers an unparalleled depth of tactical expertise.

“Together, they will lead our team with a focus on nurturing local talent and ensuring the team remains in the Premier Soccer League.

“Chippa United has always been more than just a football club. Since our arrival from Philippi, Cape Town to Gqeberha, Eastern Cape in 2014, we have not only been a part of this province, but have become integral to its sporting culture.

“Our 14-year journey in the football space has been marked by a steadfast commitment not only to compete in the PSL, but to enrich the Eastern Cape by showcasing local talent.

“We take pride in players like Zuko Mdunyelwa from Jamestown in the Joe Gqabi municipality … now with football giants Mamelodi Sundowns.”

IOL Sport