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MBABANE – Once and not always!

Moneni Pirates go by the moniker of ‘once and always’, but this doesn’t seem to be the case after the club elders last night terminated the contract of the club’s Managing Director (MD), Nqobizitha Mlilo, abruptly on controversial circumstances after a dramatic week behind-the-scenes. Barely five months after signing a five-year contract on December 2020 as the new MD of Moneni Pirates, it would be fair to say Nqobizitha Mlilo’s stay has been as short as the club’s slogan – ‘UP THE BUCS’. The elders of the team, as confirmed by the Chairman of the Elders, Charles Thwala, took a decision to terminate Mlilo’s contract with immediate effect.
This emanated in a meeting held last night at the George Hotel, to the shock of Mlilo and his management team. Thwala said the bone of contention was that Mlilo was not living up to the promises he made when he took over as the director, which include the welfare of the players and allegiance to the elders. Thwala said it was on these grounds that the man they were once proud of turned out to be contrary to what they (elders) thought he was.


“I can confirm that we have terminated Ngobizitha Mlilo’s contract with immediate effect and we requested him to accept our decision as the engine of the team. When he came, there were other potential candidates in line to take over the team,” said Thwala. Yesterday, the Times of Eswatini reported that players had boycotted training and demanded full salary payment dating back to November and abandoned training for the past two days.
When questioned about the termination of his contract, Mlilo admitted that the elders had terminated his contract, but swore to take legal action to challenge the elders’ decision. He further spilled the beans on the management squabbles within the team, also pointing fingers at some officials who were stern of making the rules, but had no financial muscle as a back-up.


“This team models itself around Orlando Pirates and as a stench Pirates supporter, I have never heard of a structure called the elders. When I took over the team, I asked; what is the duty of the elders because they are not listed in the CAF club licensing requirements? I was notified by word of mouth that my contract has been terminated and I have already instructed attorneys to start working on the matter,” said Mlilo. He, however, said he was cognizant of the promises he made to the team to do what is best for the players, but felt that there were people influencing the players to turn against him. “I came here with a budget and I wanted 23 players, but I was told that there were 32. I was also told to pay pending salaries for players I never signed. The main problem here is that there are people who want me to give them money to spend willy-nilly and not account for it,” said Mlilo.

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