Rhulani Mokwena says Chippa are trying to keep Thabo Rakhale at the club. Picture: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Rhulani Mokwena says Chippa are trying to keep Thabo Rakhale at the club. Picture: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Rhulani wants to stabilise Chippa boat after player exodus

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Apr 15, 2020

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DURBAN - Rhulani Mokwena has distanced himself from what has been termed a player exodus that recently took place at Chippa United.

On his arrival in Port Elizabeth, the club parted ways with the likes of Patrick Tignyemb, Kurt Lentjies and Andile Mbenyane.

There are strong rumours that the next wave of player exits will see Thabo Rakhale, Lehlohonolo Maselesa and Diamond Thopola leaving the Eastern Cape outfit to seek greener pastures.

But in an interview with IOL Sport, Mokwena explained that he didn’t have anything to do with the players who departed and those who were rumoured to be heading for the exit.

“I arrived and there were already several disciplinary cases at the club and those were still pending because the resignation of the coach (Norman Mapeza) was unexpected. You can even go back and find them on your archives (the disciplinary records),” Mokwena explained.

Mokwena recently joined the Chilli Boys on a six-month deal from Orlando Pirates, replacing Mapeza.

“Kurt Lentjies, Andile Mbenyane and Tignyemb were already touted as being on their way out,” he added.

“They had a lot of disciplinary cases. I just came onto the boat and tried to stabilise things and tried to speak to the club with regards to these players that were facing disciplinary actions.

“We are also trying to see if we can keep Thabo Rakhale at the club. He is still here. Everyone knows that his contract comes to an end in June,” he added.

Mokwena took charge of the Chilli Boys for one game before the Premier Soccer League season was halted by the coronavirus outbreak. They shared the spoils with Bidvest Wits in a 0-0 stalemate.

“There’s no decision that I’ve made. I can’t make those kind of decisions (of deeming players surplus to requirements) because my contract also comes to an end at the end of the season,” Mokwena elaborated.

“With regards to anything long-term, it is not possible. I saw the stories about some of the players. Some of the players left because the club took action against them and were not happy with the findings. That was from the club (not me).”

The 35-year-old has been tasked with the responsibility of saving Chippa from relegation.

“Thopola, Maselesa and Rakhale are still here. They were sad to hear the stories about themselves, but it is football. You understand what football is about, you know. Some of the stories are created to destabilise the team.

“But you don’t want to focus on those things. You want to make sure that you focus at the job at hand,” Mokwena stated.


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