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OVER E150K PAY-OUT FOR SIYABONGA

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MBABANE – He will not go cheap – at least the remaining 11 months of his contract can see him take home a good amount of cash.

That is vastly experienced Mbabane Swallows assistant coach and physical trainer Siyabonga Bhembe where on Thursday he received a letter terminating his two-year contract. The decision certainly did not go down well with Bhembe, especially because the reason cited was poor performance when they have lost twice, including the 2-1 defeat at the hands of traditional rivals Mbabane Highlanders last weekend.

Bhembe was reportedly paid E15 000 monthly at the ‘Beautiful Birds’. The monthly salary means that in the remaining 11 months of the terminated contract, his pay totals E165 000. The coach had mentioned this part about the abrupt termination, saying he would only say much once he had heard or met with the Swallows President, Archbishop Bheki Lukhele.

“He is the one who brought me back at Mbabane Swallows so, until I meet with him or hear from him, I won’t say much but yes, one year is left in my contract as I signed two years with the team,” he had said when the news broke out on Thursday afternoon.

In the last 13 months, Swallows can be said to have paid the coach about E195 000. The team’s supporters, however, seem to be against the decision as much as they had anticipated changes in the technical bench in which Bhembe worked with former Denver Sundowns Head Coach Musa Manyatsi. They were both on the bench when Swallows supporters bayed for the match officials’ blood and targeted the technical bench, which they also blamed for a weak Starting XI against Highlanders.

Swallows General Manager Sandile ‘Beyond 2000’ Zwane yesterday confirmed Bhembe was no longer part of the red and white ensemble when he was diplomatic in his response on Thursday and yesterday morning on national radio, Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services’ (EBIS) Sport Show. However, he said the club as working on releasing a press statement before he referred the publication to their Media Officer Ncamiso Mabuza, who said the statement was awaiting approval.

Terminating

Meanwhile, even the world governing soccer body, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), provides that when a party terminates a contract, the terminating party must be liable for the damages to the other party. On another note, Bhembe’s contract termination was followed by the unconfirmed speculation that former Green Mamba, Vovovo and currently National First Division League outfit, Ezulwini United coach, Caleb Ngwenya would take over as head coach and work with Manyatsi.

Bhembe, who is a Confederation of African Football (CAF) Licence B holder bounced back to Swallows in November last year from Denver Sundowns. The Birds ship was stuttering under the guidance of departed Ghanaian coach, Christopher Ennin and the current head, Manyatsi. He has also strengthened his coaching profile with Mbabane Highlanders and Mbombela United. He was part of the technical bench that rewrote history for Eswatini in continental football after reaching the group stages in the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Champions League in 2017 and 2018.

Swallows are not new to terminating contracts including those of players which saw them threatened with court action by some but they ended up settling the debts within a couple of months or so while also deciding to retain some of these stars including striker Sandile Hlatjwako yet they had been deemed surplus to requirement. Former Royal Leopard winger, Bonginkosi ‘Manyovu’ Dlamini recently got paid about E130 000 when Angola’s Segrada Esperanca terminated his two-year contract only a few months into it early this year.
Swallows currently sit on position six with 16 points, three away from leaders Young Buffaloes, second-placed Green Mamba who both have 19 points while rookies Nsingizini Hotspurs have 18 on third. Highlanders have 17 points and sit on fourth. (Additional information by Chris Dlamini)


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