WATCH: ‘Own up and stop pointing fingers,’ Kaizer Chiefs’ Arthur Zwane tells Stuart Baxter

Former Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter talks to the club’s current coach Arthur Zwane during an MTN8 game last season

Former Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter talks to the club’s current coach Arthur Zwane during an MTN8 game last season. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Aug 18, 2022


Johannesburg — The last thing Arthur Zwane and Kaizer Chiefs needed was the kind of distraction their former coach Stuart Baxter brought about with his interview this week.

Looking to recover from their 4-0 hammering by Mamelodi Sundowns, Amakhosi were hard at work preparing for Saturday’s DStv Premiership tie against surprise table-toppers Richards Bay (8pm kick-off).

But Baxter went and threw a spanner in the works, accusing the club and his successor Zwane and his assistant Dillon Sheppard of back-stabbing him.

“There were agendas within the club. Those agendas were going to be satisfied whether I liked it or not,” Baxter told SABC Sport. “We did talk about some of the players who would come in, we did speak about the young players. I read an article where the chairman said: ‘Stuart didn’t play the young players and it was in his contract’. It wasn’t in my contract.”

Zwane was not bothered by Baxter’s statement but has clearly lost respect for his former boss.

“I am a little disappointed, but I don’t care because he is exposing himself. We thought we were working with someone we could learn from and (who) we saw as our mentor.

“People must just own up. If things did not work, they did not work out. You don’t have to shift the blame and point fingers. He (Baxter) is the one who said he didn’t want the young players. I don’t know why. If he wants us to challenge him head on, we will do it. Because they (foreign coaches) come here and disrespect us.”

The former Amakhosi player, who had served as Baxter’s assistant, gave a long explanation to illustrate that Baxter’s claims that there was an agenda to work him out of the club didn’t hold water.

Zwane spoke of how the club managed a skeleton team that was robbed of its key players during the time Naturena was under Covid-19 attack.

Baxter had been off sick following their victory over Swallows FC and Zwane took over and continued using some of the players that were in that team.

But Baxter has since accused the club of back-stabbing him, an accusation Zwane found ludicrous.

“How can you want to tell people to play so and so who are not ready when you are at home sick? And then you want to come and tell others that the team was going another direction and we came and changed. No, those were the players who were available and fit for the game against Royal AM.

“Those were the players who were available, and they were played by him against Swallows when I was not there, being sick ... We had to continue, we had just beaten Swallows three or four, we had those challenges when the number of players unavailable due to Covid cases increasing. We had to bring in players from the development, just to have numbers in terms of substitutions.”

Distracted as he was by Baxter, Zwane said they were looking forward to a good showing against Richards Bay, their hammering by Sundowns notwithstanding.

“I am proud of the boys that we did not lose the structure and we were very patient even when we were 3-0 down. We didn’t just kick the ball forward. So, we are on the right track.”


IOL Sport