The State of Football Players Union Address
29 March 2012
South African Football Players Union President, Mr. Haraipha "Simba" Marumo, will be delivering a State of Football Players Union Address
at a press conference, on 29 March 2012, at Hotel Lamunu in Braamfontein Johannesburg.
The President will be providing his insights into the issues that are seriously impacting football in South Africa, and more particularly, those
issues that are impacting the players themselves.
Looking to the future, the President will also outline his policies and priorities for the future of the organisation - and indeed the future of
the sport in this country.
We hope that you will be able to join us at the State of the Football Players Union Address to see what it involves and to engage with some of
South Africa's leading soccer personalities.
Rest in peace Chillies
24 February 2012
The South African Football Players Union would like to pass its deepest condolences to the family of Thabang Lebese. It is reported that Thabang
passed on last night after being admitted at Helen Joseph hospital in Johannesburg. Chillies, as he was affectionately known by all the football
supporters, played for two top teams in the country that is Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates respectively and he also represented South Africa
playing for Bafana Bafana.
He was a legend of the game and he contributed well enough to put our standard of football where it is today. He is one of those players who made
our league (psl) what it is today and only die in absolute poverty. Another legend has fallen and our country and all the football loving people
will miss him. Rest In Peach Chillies - we will keep the spear burning. Aluta Continua.
Peter Fire Khoabane
The Legend has fallen
23 February 2012
The South African Football Players Union is saddened by the death of Thabang Chillies Lebese. Thabang was one of the best players this country has
ever produced. He showcased his talent at various teams in the PSL including Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates to mention but a few. After his playing
days Chillies got involved in giving back to the communities that have supported him over the years.
He was the PRO for Show Me Your Number, the project whose main focus is on life skills and HIV and AIDS. Last year he joined hands with other sports
personalities who walked from JHB to Durban at the Sports Heroes Walk that is run by Cynthia Chaka. He spent his last days giving advice to the
communities, in particular the youth about staying away from drugs and practicing safe sex.
May his soul Rest In Peace and he will be sorely missed by the entire soccer fraternity,
Peter Fire Khoabane
Blame it on SAFA not the players (SAFPU)!
10 October 2011
South African Football Players Union [SAFPU] is so disappointed by the shenaningens that are taking place at SAFA. There is not much of
explanation that would convince the nation that SAFA is on top of things. To the contrary this shows that somebody at the federation is
not doing his/her work and this call for heads to roll. Before we can even talk about events on the day lets first bring this point to our
attention. As a rule of thumb in competitions, rules inform the way tournaments should run and not the other way around. Bringing it closer
to home BafanaBafana was knocked out of the AFCON by not winning their match against Sierra Leone at Mbombela stadium. From the way our
technical team and players approached the game it seems that someone had told them that a draw would see us qualify for the AFCON finals
hence the substitution and tactics by Itumeleng Khune towards the end of the game. We really cannot put blame on the players this time because
one could see clearly that they were just following instructions.
The big question is who was responsible for circulating that info or maybe better put who was responsible for not passing on correct
information. The second one is did CAF introduce that rule immediately after Bafana game or it has always been there even before the start
of the qualifiers. Now the SAFA hierarchy with the leadership of Mr. Kirsten Nematendani is saying that they are going to appeal the CAF
decision to let Bafana to go to the finals. This is not the time to pass the buck but time to make self introspection and deal with real
issues. Fact is the nation has been deceived, and someone must account. We don't even want to touch on question of merits or suitable people
for the jobWhat is exactly is the responsibility of the team manager? Was he aware of this rule or did he discuss the rules with the coach?
Then who told the players that even if they played to a goalless draw they would still qualify? You could see by the way they were dancing
after the game that they were told that they qualified.
We know that a few people would argue that the players should also shoulder part of the blame, but what can you do better as a player than
follow instructions. Our take is that SAFA and not the players should shoulder the entire blame. How are they going to account for attending
meetings and conferences flying first class and sleeping in five star hotels? It's about time that heads must roll and people should start
doing their job including SAFA captain Mr. President Nematendani, as the leader he must stare the ship in the right direction and take
We would also like to advice SAFA not to appeal the rule because that will save us more embarrassment, as we were stupid enough to dance and
celebrate not qualifying for the AFCON on Saturday...
PETER FIRE KHOABANE
SAFPU MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS
Good luck Bafana Bafana
The SOUTH AFRICAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS UNION would like to wish BAFANA luck on Saturday against Sierra Leone at Mbombela stadium.
The SOUTH AFRICAN history tells us that our country performs better and produce results when all odds are against us. Remember
when we won the World Cup Rugby in 1995 and the Afcon in 1996 nobody gave us a chance and against all odds we came out tops.
This is our time again to prove our worth to the world. We are going to beat Sierra Leone and qualify for the Afcon finals next year.
As the South African Football Players Union we request all the South Africans to rally behind our boys come the 8th October at Mbombela stadium.
PETER FIRE KHOABANE
SAFPU MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS
011 339 1906
083 210 1497
We give thumbs up to Heart Fm
05 October 2011
South African Football Players Union [SAFPU] would like to show their appreciation to Heart-Fm for their effort to develop the
standard of football in our country with their soccer clinics this week in Cape Town.
The South African Soccer Players, Soccer Legends, Musicians and Radio DJS and the local celebrities attended to support the campaign,
the event provided a great way to create awareness about Heart Squad soccer clinics which begin in November until January. This is the
idea of Heart Fm in 2008 and continues to show that the station is dedicated to post world cup development in the country.
The clinics developer Nick Feinberg who is also the sports anchor at the station was surrounded by some of our football legends such
as Thabo Mngomeni, Kamaal Saait, Edries Burton,David Byrne and George Dearnaley.
The local singers were also present the likes of Yolanda Yawa, Keeno Lee, and Gift Gwe entertained with brilliant musical performances.
Santos FC was out to pledge their support for the initiative and held an autograph signing session for the youngsters.
The matches between the radio station djs, Local celebrities, soccer legends and Psl Players completed an exciting day in which the
beautiful game was the winner.
In as much as we give thumbs up to such initiatives, it would be great that the custodians of football in this country SAFA, ensures
that all these programs are aligned to the countries development programme. Because without this alignment, in future we might find
ourselves having to deal with contrasting schools of thought in so far as South African Football Development plan is concerned (provided
there is one). We also note and appreciate the job creation element that these initiatives provide for former and current players, helping
communities to deal with crime and also encouraging youngsters to dream big .
Rest in Peace Young Lions
The SOUTH AFRICAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS UNION would like to send its deepest and sincere condolences to Karen Beef FC and the family
of the players who died in a motor accident on the weekend in Balfour (Mpumalanga). We were saddened by the tragic loss of the
five members who paid the ultimate price for their love of the game. Our condolences go out to the families of Thabiso Letsima,
Mondli Makhaza, Douglas Mngomezulu, Bongani Mgadzi and Lucky Motloung during this time of grief and sadness. It is sad for the
country to lose such talent at an early age and a loss of one player is one too many and this impact negatively on the development
of future stars who would ultimately have to follow in the steps of their current heroes such as the likes of Katlego Mphela and
the Morgan Gould's of this world..
We also would like to make a plea to SAFA to ensure that they work towards providing a better, safer most reliable transport solution
for our football structures and we trust that the memories of these members will be remembered by all football fraternity throughout
We appreciate the fact that SAFA is going to ensure that the deceased are given a dignified burial from their comprehensive insurance
plan. With the risk of jumping the gun, we would request that a moment of silence be observed before our most important Bafana Bafana
game against Sierra Leone at the Mbombela stadium.
PETER FIRE KHOABANE
SAFPU MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS
011 339 1906
083 210 1497
Enough With The Exploitation Of Players
There are many of us who are silent supporters who fear to be associated with beliefs we know are right and will assist
in creating a just society we all long for. For an example the youth league call for "economic freedom in our lifetime".
This brings me closer to home. You see, I am a footballer, having played at professional level I can claim that I know the
challenges that players are faced with daily. I have now dedicated my life to right the wrongs of the past, hence once
involvement with the South African Football Players Union (SAFPU). Truth be told, South African football is exploitative
and is another form of slavery. In this day and age, such attitude displayed by the majority of club owners can only be
categorized as criminal. For an example the amendments to the leagues rules with particular reference to the under 23 rule
without consulting the very same stakeholders who are to be governed by same, clubs deciding at a drop of a hat whether you
should do what you love best or retire because it suits them best, the list is endless. It is time that we as players stand
up and be counted.
The problem with our football is that somebody somewhere cares very little about the needs and emotions of the players. And
this behaviour at best demonstrates lack of foresight, accountability and disdain for the needs of players. Hailed as the
fourth richest league in the world and the leading league in Africa, the PSL remains a glorified ghost with a bulky bank
balance and everything else leaves much to be desired. As a former player, as a union advocating for the needs of the players
who toil day in and day out to give the league access to television rights and sponsorships, we demand a just, fair and
economically empowering salaries, working conditions and respect for these players.
Lessons from Spain and Italy will surely embolden us and our members to be radical in pushing for our demands, or else we
will be left with no option but to disrupt the league and rally our members to down tools and strike. This will be a sad
day, but a necessary occurrence if we are to fast-track economic freedom in our lifetime. Players cannot toil and sweat to
make the owners the beneficiaries and upon retirement, these players become basket cases that need family, friends and
government to look after them. Enough is enough. We dip our revolutionary flag to the spirit of Botsotso Makhanya who passed
away last week. Whilst his legacy and contribution to football was gigantic, like many before him, and many after him (if
nothing is done) Botsotso could not afford a basic necessity like medical aid to access help early. If his legacy was
commensurate with the fair earnings he was supposed to receive from football, Two's would still be with us.
Our demands are simple, affordable and reasonable. For a long time we have been patient with the league and the teams to
the point where we have been labelled as toothless. Our weakness to bargain is due to the divide and rule the teams have
used to intimidate the players not to belong to the union. More disappointing is that fact that agents of some of the
players, due to their greed, have colluded with the team owners to bash the union. We are aware of these agents, and when
the time is right, we will name and shame them so that the players would never use their services in future. What we demand
is minimum wage for the players and benefits that are prescribed in law for all employees in South Africa. With the monthly
grants the PSL is providing to the teams, surely the players as the "tools of production" for the factory that teams are,
these players should be remunerated well.
We also demand that the PSL should register as an employer body as the labour law requires. You cannot compare the league
to others just because of the bank balance the league has. To be the best in the world, other facets that give rise to the
claim that we are amongst the best should be in place. The PSL's failure to register as an employer is a deliberate act
aimed at maintaining the status quo where the players are ill-treated and remain enslaved for as long as they are contracted
to the teams. The PSL registration as an employer will allow for a collective bargaining chamber to be put in place which
will result in a closed shop agreement that will ensure that basic minimum requirements for the players are met.
Going back to Spain and Italy, the common reason for the strikes by the players in these leagues was simple – as players
we are stakeholders and we need to be taken seriously. The spirit of solidarity shown by the global leading players and
unknown players was powerful, and going forward the billionaire owners will never take Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and
their fellow-players lightly. We must also applaud the role played by senior players in the strike. Whilst some of the
players were not affected as they earn mega salaries, they demonstrated the highest form of sacrifice to ensure that their
fellow players and competitors who sometimes are taken for granted by their teams are never exploited again. The same
should go to players in the NSL who are well-off to support their fellow brothers as a sign of solidarity an ensuring
that we build a brighter future for generations to come. The leagues in these countries, like the PSL make billions from
sponsorships and television rights, and these money should be paid to the players who give these leagues the dignity they
As SAFPU, we will continue to engage the players, and using the opportunity that Spain and Italy have displayed that as
workers, we are stakeholders and we should be treated with respect. If all else fail, we will rally the players, and tap
into their revolutionary spirit to make things right. Football is the passion for these players, and football is the means
for these players to earn a decent living whilst they still play and they need to be sustained long after they retire. Like
some team owners claim that they will defend the league with all they have from those who want to hijack the league from them
after they sacrificed, the same applies to the players. There is no team without players, ask any coach who tries to win a
game when the player's morale is down!
The PSL has a new CEO and the same applies to SAFA. However, both these entities still have people in their governance who
are still steeped in the past due to their belief that they own the game. We want to remind all those who are hell bent of
breaking the laws and displaying flagrant disregard for the Constitution of South Africa and trampling on the rights of
players just because they feel that players are not sophisticated and most are young, naïve and desperate to play irrespective
of how much they earn. SAFPU has made the threat of striking before, whilst it continued to engage with the team owners and
the league to get things right. We have run out of patience, and should our basic demands not be met, we will be left with no
choice but to bring the league to a standstill.
Both unions from Spain and Italy remain relevant more than ever. Our football in so far as players are concerned is at a
cross-road, and it requires leadership. If everything else fails we will have to consider rallying South Africans to buy
serious stakes or take over the teams, as a form of nationalisation that is necessary to bring about a new form of ownership
in the football industry. With the emergence of family dynasties that run the football teams today, the future looks very
bleak and the biggest losers will be the players and the fans. The time and the moment are ripe for a revolution in our
football. Better run teams, better paid players will result in a happy, delivering player workforce. All these will complete
the claim that the PSL is one of the best leagues in the globe. We would like to echo what Ben Okri Said when he wrote
"the most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to educate, to transform, to love and to be
greater than our suffering".
We will overcome regardless the current challenges we are faced with! All power to the players, all we request is respect
for the players who continuously bring billions in the game and die as paupers! I suppose this is not much to ask!
South African Football Players Union (SAFPU)
Contact: 082 520 1434. O/H 011 339 1906
The PSL BOGs Decision (SAFPU)
The amendments to the rules made by the BOARD OF GOVERNORS of the NATIONAL SOCCER LEAGUE on the 19th of May 2011
have no intension of benefiting the players in one way or the other. The one new rule states that Clubs participating
in the 1st Division must have a minimum of five(5) players who are both U23 and eligible to represent SOUTH AFRICA
on the field of play at all times during a particular match. This decision was taken on behalf of the players in their
absence and all the players are not happy with the decision.
Firstly if the BOG takes this kind of decision then it means that we will find players retiring at the age of 24
because they cannot play in the PSL and neither will they be able to ply their trade in the National First Division.
We fore-see PSL creating the legacy of unemployed former football players. Now the question is- Did these guys make
this decision purely because they really want to put their focus on the development or they want to save money and give
these young stars peanuts? We as the SAFPU says if then the aim is to develop our young players why didnt the players
form part of the decision making process, cause these are the people who are mostly affected one way or the other.
We are simply saying if it is indeed aimed at developing the game; let us also see a fundamental shift in the economic
benefit for the players. For an example we would welcome a scenario which says there should be a minimum wage of R15 000
for all NFD players and a minimum of R30000 for all PSL players, then in that regard we would be persuaded that the
intention is indeed to develop the game. History and experience tell us that in the absence of necessary measures to
regulate the entry wage the players are likely to be exploited in the process. It goes without saying that if there is
nothing that binds this Club bosses then we will find players earning R2000 and R3000 a month respectively. If this kind
of an amendment can be put in the Rules of the NATIONAL SOCCER LEAGUE then the players wont be exploited as much as they
are going to be now. The players will continue to raise their objections to these amendments which in our opinion are
contrary to the bill of rights as contained in the constitution, that no one should be discriminated against because of
amongst other things AGE. It is clear that the people who are most likely to benefit from these amendments are the club
What is more worrying is lack of contingency plan for the players who are going to lose work as a result of this rule.
This act by the Board of governors of the PSL simply shows that the players are not regarded as important stakeholders
in the game. This reminds us when the PSL passed a resolution to cut the PSL teams from 18 to 16 teams. There were
engagements with those teams who would be directly affected by the rule change, contingency plans made. Even by design to
ensure that if they want to come back to the PSL they could do so within a certain period of time. And still at the time
the players suffered the most because of the decisions taken about them without them. No players benefitted from those
sales rather many breadwinners lost their jobs. Fast forward that to today the same outcome is expected. We strongly
believe that it is time to stand up and be counted; it is time for us to be economically liberated. Let us stand together
and work together to ensure the economic emancipation does happen in our lifetime.
Rest In Peace Mzion
The SOUTH AFRICAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS UNION would like to send its condolences to ORLANDO PIRATES and the family of the late
ORLANDO PIRATES number one supporter Mr. JOHANNES MZION MOFOKENG who passed on after he was admitted at the CHRIS HANI
BARAGWATH HOSPITAL due to low blood pressure related complications. Mzion passing away is not a loss only to his family
but to the whole football fraternity. SAFPU wish is that the supporters who spent most of their time and monies singing
and dancing week in and week out for their teams can be honored and respected whilst they are alive.
These are the people who bring excitement to the games of football and they give support to our members too, so as the
UNION we feel we have lost a member and a supporter of the beautiful game. I dont think that MZION has ever missed PIRATES
game irrespective of the venue that PIRATES was playing. He was the Icon of the SOUTH AFRICAN FOOTBALL and he will be
remembered by all the football loving nation of our country. He will always be remembered as the ICON of the SOUTH AFRICAN
FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS. May his soul rest in peace.
Batau FC and FCAK Non-Payment Dispute
Payment Disputes involving Batau F.C and F.C.A.K have taken a rather bizarre twist.
Two players from F.C.A.K Aaron Chuene and Fredericks Nyehema who is a Liberian international and Manai Matandai from
Batau F.C who is a Zimbabwean national complained that the two clubs breached their contracts because they failed to
pay them their salaries at the beginning of 2010/11 season.
After signing their contracts F.C.A.K and Batau F.C did not register the three players with PSL as required by the rules
for 2010/11 season. As a result the said clubs refused to pay the players their salaries.
The South African Football Players Union which is representing the three players referred the dispute of breach of contract
to the dispute and resolution chamber of the PSL.
F.C.A.K made representation that the DRC does not have jurisdiction to hear the disputes because both players are not
registered with the league furthermore F.C.A.K contended thereof that Frederick Nhyema is a foreigner, does not have a work
permit and is illegal in the country (South Africa).
SAFPU national organizer said F.C.A.K. forgets that they are the ones who invited the players to be in South Africa and
they are obliged by the PSL rules and regulation to apply for the players work permit.
The union has made representation that the DRC have jurisdiction to hear the disputes of all the three players.
We are still awaiting the ruling of the DRC in the matter.
Bafana Bafana Edge Closer To The 2012 African Nations Cup
06 June 2011
Bafana Bafana edged ever closer to the 2012 African Nations Cup on Sunday night, keeping their cool in fiery Cairo, and killing
off the dreams of the reigning African champions.
The Cairo Military Stadium rose to applaud Pitso Mosimanes side at the end, at the same time as the vented their fury at their
own team, who have had an abysmal qualifying campaign.
Bafana, by contrast, are rising in continental stature by the day, and should actually have emerged from the Egyptian capital
with all three points.