Lucas Radebe is a candidate to become a politician according to two IOL soccer writers. Photo: BackpagePix

An ex-footballer is set to become president of Liberia. Yes, the great George Weah could now be a head of state. For your reading pleasure, we’ve compiled a list of five SA players who, just maybe, can swim with the sharks and run for president!

Jimmy Tau

You can’t question his leadership qualities, having been captain during his spells at both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. Tau also has a dress sense that appeals to the people - making him a suitable candidate to be a high-rolling politician. Add to that the fact that he is a businessman who essentially didn’t need to hold on to his career when it was clear it had ended prematurely. Tau was 33 when he retired, snubbing offers from several PSL clubs to join them to continue playing.

He’s the best dressed of all the SuperSport analysts and commands a huge following on Instagram, which would be one of the platforms to lure voters. One of his many hobbies these days is to play golf during his spare time. You see, Tau already has the politician DNA in him and just needs a slick campaign manger to make him great.

Could Jimmy Tau be the president of the county? Photo: BackpagePix

Matthew Booth

He is great at getting his point across - a great tool if you are to become president. The former Bafana Bafana defender is a also a bit of a philanthropist, and so is his wife, Sonia. And together they can achieve more. Booth often seems to have an interesting opinion not only in football, but also his world view.

If he is booed while giving a speech to woo voters, he can always use that to his advantage. Remember foreigners used to think he was being jeered when he played for Bafana during the 2009 Confederations Cup, not knowing the fans were cheering him on using his catchy surname. Booth also knows how to negotiate, having been given the task to represent the national team players on bonus discussions before the 2010 World Cup.

Matthew Booth is good at getting his point across. Photo: BackpagePix

Siphiwe Mkhonza

He gives Tau a run for his money when it comes to styling, but Mkhonza doesn’t seem to spend much of his time drinking cognac, playing golf and attending celebrity weddings. If he does, he doesn’t really tell anyone about it.

What the former Chiefs player is good at is talking - you need that in politics. The problem here is that a lot of the people who watch him give his expert analysis on Sabc’s SoccerZone don’t seem to understand what he is saying. Even the resident host, Thomas Mlambo, has a hard time making sense of it all and calls for a commercial break more than he should after ‘Dr Mnandi’ has hammered him with his gobbledygook. Oops!

But isn’t that the issue with many of our politicians these days? They say a lot, but very little of substance comes out their mouths.

Siphiwe Mkhonza can talk the talk. Photo: BackpagePix

Lucas Radebe

The Chief is very presidential in his stature and how he conducts himself. He is a global leader who reached worldwide fame during his days as captain of English side Leeds United. He was so influential that rock band Kaiser Chiefs chose that name as an ode to Radebe by borrowing it from his former club Kaizer Chiefs. There’s a beer, Radebeer, named after him in Yorkshire after Leeds Brewery asked fans on an online poll to vote for what was a new ale in 2008. Even the late former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, called Rhoo his hero - there can be no recommendation more glowing than that. The former Bafana Bafana captain has always been an exemplary figure, leading every side he has captained with distinction. He is a universally liked brand who is still able to draw crowds even more than a decade since he hung up his boots.

Lucas Radebe is a fan favourite. Photo: BackpagePix

Jabu (Pule) Mahlangu

Mahlangu seems to have more than nine lives, a key ingredient for any politician who needs to survive a treacherous world with back-stabbing and sometimes political killings. Mahlangu has landed with his feet in every fall from grace whether it’s at Kaizer Chiefs after they had had enough of his wayward words due to his alcoholism and continual drug problems, or from the Austrian side SV Mattersburg which signed him from Amakhosi. Before he turned his live around, Mahlangu could outdrink any comrade and would never complain like Julius Malema once did about a malt that disfigured them. Mahlangu was the one disfiguring alcohol. Despite his shortcomings, which prompted former President Thabo Mbeki to ask him to behave before the 2002 World Cup, Mahlangu is universally liked. Fans always see an entertainer who put them and his opponents under a spell during his playing days. President Jacob Zuma still has a large following despite numerous accusation of corruption that would have brought down many politicians.

Jabu Mahlangu has seen it all. Photo: BackpagePix


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