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MBABANE – Axed Mbabane Swallows players Thabo Vilakati, James Nguluve and Triston Dunn have been paid two months salaries after a seemingly unceremonious departure from the red and white side.

The players, according to Swallows General Manager (GM) Sandile ‘Beyond 2000’ Zwane, were no longer in the plans of gaffer Caleb Ngwenya for the remainder of the season. A source close to the red and white capital city giants revealed that the trio were verbally told that they were now surplus to requirement two days before the second registration window closed. The trio, however, were part of the team that played Nsingizini Hotspurs at King Sobhuza II Memorial Stadium a day after the deadline. The source also revealed that the duo of Vilakati and Nguluve were paid a monthly salary of E8 000 each.

“James and Thabo were each paid the same salary at Swallows and Dunn was earning E5 000 every month. Swallows paid the three players only two months of their five months, which was left of their contracts and had the players stayed at the club, Swallows was going to part with E84 000 which was a combined salary in the three months that was left in the contract,” said an impeccable source.

The GM, in a press conference held at Sigwaca House yesterday disclosed that it was true that the players were released from the as the news also circulated on social media. He said all the three players were handsomely rewarded with money for the remainder of their contracts which was due to expire at the end of May 2023, contrary to the players’ claims.


Striker Nguluve, who scored nine goals for Swallows, last season expressed his disappointment on how the team treated them as he revealed that he was owed his E20 000 signing-on fee, but acknowledged that the team paid him his two months’ salary for February and March while his contract was due to end in May after the season finishes. He indicated that they had expected to receive four months’ pay as per their contracts but they were paid for two months.

“The team is still owing me my E20 000 signing-on fee and they told me that they will pay, but I don’t know how they will pay me when I’m no longer part of the team. I have crossed the border and I have decided to go back home in Zimbabwe despite interest from other teams,” he said. On the other hand, Vilakati who was a regular last season disputed that they were told in time that they should find teams to play for as the team informed them on a Wednesday, yet the second transfer window deadline was on a Friday, February 17, this year after it was extended from February 10.

“What Swallows are saying, that they gave us time to find teams was all lies. In the second transfer window which was postponed they told us on the same week on Wednesday when the window was closing on Friday and we were told verbally that we were not on the coaches’ plans,” he said.
He went on to reveal that they were surprised to be selected for the match day squad against rookies Nsingizini which Swallows won and this brought back hope that they were in the coach’s plans since the window had closed.
“We were given the termination letters on Wednesday this week after the transfer window was long closed,” he explained.
The ex-Moneni Pirates right back also shared the same sentiments as Nguluve that the team still owed him other contractual monies but opted to keep it between him and the club. “I wish the team all the best for the rest of the season and the sad part about this situation is that I now have to wait till the season ends before I can play soccer again,” he lamented. In his remarks during the briefing, Zwane thanked the team’s President ArchBishop Bheki Lukhele for the humility that he showed to the players.

“We would like to thank our president who has given all the three players a good salary package which shows that he cares for the Mbabane Swallows players. We are not making enemies with any player when we terminate their contracts but we always continue having a relationship with them. We have given them their match-day kits which we wanted them to always treasure so that they can have a memory that they once played for the club,” Zwane said.


The former national team Sihlangu manager claimed they communicated to the players that they were no longer in the coach’s plans way before the second transfer window ended and ‘we wanted to find teams for them’ so that they could play, but they said they would get their own teams. Reacting on the allegations made by the players Zwane said he could not disclose the figures of the package the players were given after leaving the team. “We cannot disclose the figures because it is confidential and personal. We agreed with the players and they all left the club happy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zwane mentioned that only ‘1 000 tickets were made available’ for their game this afternoon at the Prince of Wales Sports Ground and he also pleaded with their supporters to be in their best behaviour.  Zwane further mentioned that any supporters who will be seen outside the stadium loitering around or climbing on trees would be removed from the sports ground premises. The red and white capital giants have a date with Madlenya FC this afternoon at the tiny venue.

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