Double Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe has rejoined his teammates in Pretoria. He will do his rehabilitation under the supervision of the Bok medical staff with an eye on possibly being available for selection for the opening Test of the Castle Lager Incoming Tour against Ireland.

ALSO READ: Bafana beat Zimbabwe at a packed Free State Stadium

The Bok speedster suffered a knee niggle during the Japanese club season. After consultation with the Bok medical team on Sunday, he was released on Monday to seek a specialist opinion. Kolbe returned to camp on Wednesday afternoon to follow a rehabilitation programme.

The match-day squad for the opening Test of the season, against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday 22 June, will be announced on Tuesday.

CHESLIN KOLBE HAS RETURNED TO THE SPRINGBOK SQUAD FOR THE INCOMING SERIES

This Test will be followed by the Castle Lager Incoming Series which features back-to-back Tests against Ireland (ranked second in the world) in Pretoria and Durban (on 6 and 13 July), and a historic first Test against Portugal in Bloemfontein on 20 July.

The Springboks will then turn their attention to the Castle Lager Rugby Championship where they will line up against Australia in Brisbane and Perth (on 10 and 17 August) before facing arch-rivals New Zealand on consecutive weekends in South Africa – in Johannesburg on 31 August and Cape Town on 7 September.

They will then make a short trip to Argentina where they will face the Pumas in Santiago (on 21 September) and then in Nelspruit on 28 September.

This will be followed by the traditional year-end tour featuring Tests against Scotland in Edinburgh (10 November), England in London (16 November) and Wales in Cardiff (23 November).

Bafana Bafana rewarded the thousands of fans who descended on Free State Stadium with a top-class performance as they beat Zimbabwe 3-1 in a pulsating 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

Coach Hugo Broos’ charges signaled their intentions very early in the game when Iqraam Rayners scored the opening goal of the match inside the first minute.

ALSO READ: PSL announces a list of nominees for end of season awards 

Free State Stadium erupted into pandemonium as the fans celebrated the home team’s dream start to the game.
But Zimbabwe responded a minute later when Tawanda Chirewa scored the equaliser to momentarily put a damper on the celebrations. The home side went in search of the goal that would have restored their lead but could not find the breakthrough they needed. The two teams went into the break still deadlocked at 1-1.

The South African senior men’s team returned with more purpose in the second period and substitute Thapelo Morena regained the lead with his strike in the 55th minute. Morena put the game beyond the visitors when he scored his second of the night and the third for Bafana Bafana when he scored in the 76th minute.

Bafana Bafana beat Zimbabwe at a packed Free State Stadium
Bafana Bafana players

EXCITEMENT AS BAFANA BAFANA BEAT ZIMBABWE IN MANGAUNG

The Bloemfontein fans delivered a memorable night from the stands for the Bafana Bafana players and technical staff as they sang their lungs out, cheered the team and gave fervent support from the stands.

The South Africans are now second in qualifying FIFA World Group C with seven points. They are level on points with group leaders Rwanda due to goal difference.

Orlando Pirates striker Tshegofatso Mabasa has capped off an impressive season by winning his first DStv Premiership Player of the Month award for May. Rulani Mokwena of Mamelodi Sundowns has been rewarded with the DStv Premiership Coach of the Month award, for the third time this season.

ALSO READ: Mokwena win DStv Premiership monthly award 

In the Buccaneers’ five matches in May, Mabasa led the domestic league with his five goals. This includes one on the final day, which secured a place in the CAF Champions League for his club, narrowly ahead of Stellenbosch FC on goal difference. His goals in May also saw the formidable Mabasa win the league’s top goal scorer award, which was also secured on the last day of the season ahead of his nearest rival.

He is the second Pirates player to win a monthly individual award this season, after Thabiso Lebitso.

Tshegofatso Mabasa wins DStv Premiership Player of the Month
Rulani Mokwena

TSHEGOFATSO MABASA SCOPS THE DSTV PREMIERSHIP PLAYER OF THE MONTH AWARD

Mabasa beat Cape Town City’s Jaedin Rhodes, Oswin Appollis of Polokwane City and Sanele Barns from Richards Bay to the May award.

Meanwhile, during the last month of league football this May, Mokwena oversaw four wins, two draws and a defeat from their seven matches. A period in which Sundowns were unstoppable until the slip up to suffer their first defeat of the season to Cape Town City on the last day of the season. During this period, Sundowns scored 10 goals and only conceded three. With his May success, Mokwena has won the award for the third time this season, having previously won it in August and April.

Mokwena beat Cape Town City’s coach Eric Tinkler to the award, with the Citizens also having had a good month and getting the big scalp away to Sundowns.

GOAL OF THE MONTH AWARD GOES TO LINDOKUHLE MTSHALI 

Moroka Swallows’ midfielder Lindokuhle Mtshali, has won the last DStv Premiership Goal of the Month award for the season, as he took home the prize for May. Mtshali showed great technique in executing his goal from the edge of the 18-yard area in Swallows win over Stellenbosch FC.

All three winners will each receive R7, 000 from league sponsors, DStv, for their accolades.

On Friday, the Premier Soccer League [PSL] announced the eagerly awaited 2023/24 PSL Awards nominees.

Mamelodi Sundowns duo of Teboho Mokoena and Ronwen Williams, alongside Stellenbosch FC striker Iqraam Rayners, have clinched nominations for the prestigious PSL Footballer of the Season award. The vote is determined by the votes of the 16 Premier Division coaches. 

Both Williams and Rayners have secured nominations for the DStv Premiership Players’ Player of the Season category, alongside the dynamic Orlando Pirates attacking midfielder, Patrick Maswanganyi.

ALSO READ: Limpopo side Magesi FC promoted

In the DStv Premiership Coach of the Season category, Stellenbosch FC’s Steve Barker faces off against Rhulani Mokwena of Mamelodi Sundowns and Jose Riveiro of Orlando Pirates.

The nominees for the MTN8 Last Man Standing include the trio from Orlando Pirates: Sipho Chaine, Zakhele Lepasa, and Patrick Maswanganyi. Meanwhile, the Carling Knockout Player of the Tournament category sees Stellenbosch FC’s dominance, with Thabo Moloisane, Devin Titus, and Rayners all earning nominations.

In the Nedbank Cup categories, the Orlando Pirates pair of Tshegofatso Mabasa and Maswanganyi, alongside Stellenbosch FC’s Rayners, have been nominated for the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament while Shandre Campbell (SuperSport United), Relebohile Mofokeng (Orlando Pirates), and Devin Titus (Orlando Pirates) received nominations for the Nedbank Cup Most Promising Player category.”

Ronwen Williams

PSL AWARDS NOMINEES ANNOUNCED AS THE SEASON COMES TO AN END 

For the Nedbank Cup categories, the Orlando Pirates pair of Tshegofatso Mabasa and Maswanganyi together with Stellenbosch FC’s Rayners have been nominated for the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament while Shandre Campbell (SuperSport United), Relebohile Mofokeng (Orlando Pirates), and Devin Titus (Orlando Pirates) got the nod for the Nedbank Cup Most Promising Player category.

Youngsters Jody Ah Shene (Cape Town City), Ntando Nkosi (Mamelodi Sundowns), and Langelihle Phili (Stellenbosch FC) were nominated for the DStv Diski Challenge Player of the Season category.

Voting and Nomination Procedures:

Footballer of the Season: Nominations and voting were exclusively conducted by the Premier Division head coaches. Only one head coach per club was authorized to vote, and coaches were prohibited from nominating or voting for their own teammates.

DStv Premiership Player’s Player of the Season: Nominations and voting were solely managed by Premier Division players. Each club was allowed a maximum of 30 votes, with the provision that no player could nominate or vote for their own teammate.

DStv Diski Challenge Player of the Season: Nominations and voting were overseen by the Diski Challenge head coaches. Only one head coach per club was authorized to vote, and coaches were prohibited from nominating or voting for their own teammate.

Match Officials: Nominations and voting were conducted by the SAFA National Referees Committee Panel.

All Other Categories: Nominations and voting were undertaken by a judging panel comprising football journalists, analysts, and commentators. A comprehensive list of the judging panel will be publicly disclosed following the PSL Awards ceremony.

Vhembe-based club Mpheni Defenders were crowned provincial ABC Motsepe League champions and will represent Limpopo at the national playoffs in Northern Cape. 

Defenders were crowned the Limpopo champions for the second time in a row following their 1-0 win over Tzaneen United at Oscar Mpetha Stadium at the University of Limpopo over the weekend. Lucky Buasi scored the only goal of the day in the 67th minute.  

ALSO READ: Limpopo ABC Motsepe clubs summoned to an urgent meeting

They qualified for the provincial playoffs after finishing top of Stream A with 34 points. Tzaneen United on the other hand were Stream B winners with 45 points.

Mpheni have now qualified for the SAFA ABC Motsepe League national playoffs for the second time in a row. Last season, the Limpopo side were eliminated in the semi-finals of the national playoffs.

MPHENI DEFENDERS RETURN TO THE ABC MOTSEPE NATIONAL PLAYOFFS 

They became the sixth team to qualify for the 2024 ABC Motsepe League national playoffs. This year, the playoffs are set to be held in the Northern Cape next month.

The other five teams that have booked their spots are Thames FC [North West], FN Rangers [Western Cape], Dondol Stars [Gauteng], Njampela FC [KwaZulu-Natal], and also Kruger United [Mpumalanga].

Magesi FC have become the latest club from Limpopo to be promoted to the DStv Premiership for the 2024/25 season.

Magesi secured the promotion after a hard fought 3-1 win against Milford FC at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium. Their promotion comes with two matches remaining before the end of the season.

ALSO READ: Proteas Squad Named for the 2024 T20 World Cup 

The owner of the club Solly Makhubela has given credit to coach Clinton Larsen for their efforts in securing the top PSL status.

“It’s just about the management and the coach who are working together. I am just a chairman, but I am taking the instructions from them, to be honest,” he said.

“I listen to them and where I need to suggest I do so, but the final decision comes from the management and the coach. Not just me,” explained Makhubela.

Limpopo side Magesi FC promoted
Magesi FC Owner Solly Makhubela

JUBILATION AS MAGESI FC ARE PROMOTED TO THE DSTV PREMIERSHIP WITH TWO GAMES TO SPARE 

Head coach Clinton Larsen has also shown gratitude to the Chairman for the support during the campaign.

“So I want to thank Solly Makhubela and John Mathibe, our CEO for that diligent leadership. It’s quiet but firm, diligent leadership at the top and that’s allowed us to get on with our work.”

“It [promotion] ranks at the top. I won the Telkom Cup with Bloemfontein Celtic,” added Larsen. 

“We have won promotion now, so this is gonna be ‘I am there with that’. So I am very proud of this achievement,” he said.

“Like I said, people don’t know how hard we had to work to get the club to where it is now. People just think, okay, you sign a few players, and you start to win some games.

Meanwhile, another Limpopo club Baroka FC are on the verge of securing a PSL promotion spot. They need to win their two remaining games against JDR Stars and University of Pretoria to seal their place in the playoffs.”

World-renowned football federation, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) in partnership with VFS Global, concluded extensive coaching courses held in Stellenbosch and in Durban in March this year. The initiative is in line with VFS Global’s community outreach initiatives across the globe with a focus on youth empowerment and skill development.

The KNVB-accredited course conducted under its WorldCoaches Programme in partnership with SAFA eThekwini, saw a total of 56 coaches from across Durban and Cape Town, with almost 50 percent of the participants being women. The coaches were accredited with a globally recognised certificate, as part of KNVB’s WorldCoaches global drive of using football to drive social development.

ALSO READ: Mbombela confirmed as Venue for Nedbank Final

The five-day workshop saw the coaches being exposed to the latest global trends of youth coaching and equipped with the necessary tools and information to be role models in their respective communities. In addition to tactical knowledge empowerment, key societal topics such as child protection, leadership, and social change formed part of the learning process for the coaches. The course hosted over 265 participating players throughout the two weeks, allowing the coaches to put together sessions they had learnt from the instructors into practice.

VFS Global and KNVB support SAFA regions
VFS Global’s community outreach

VFS GLOBAL AND KNVB HOST COACHING COURSES FOR SAFA REGIONS 

“This was truly an eye-opening experience for our coaches. Most of them are keen to learn and empower themselves, and thanks to such a programme, our region is not only producing future coaches. but key role models for our communities, thanks to KNVB”, said SAFA eThekwini Technical Director, Maxwell Ndlovu.

Speaking on behalf of the KNVB, instructor Bert Zuurman said the reception and eagerness shown by the coaches were encouraging and indicative of a bright youth football future for the region.

ALSO READ: Condolences continue to pour in for Luke Fleurs

“We are honoured to share our knowledge and experience with these coaches, who are not just coaches but are now role models. Our programmes are uniquely designed to make use of football as a driver for social change, and it is important that our coaches are receptive to both the tactical and social development divisions of the programme. We wish all the coaches the best of luck, and sincerely thank SAFA eThekwini for providing us with the platform”, said Johan van Geijn, Founder of KNVB WorldCoaches.

“Through this programme, we are not only equipping coaches with the latest in football tactics but also instilling in them a sense of social responsibility. Through such initiatives that also empower young people to stay in school, we’re shaping not just athletes, but future leaders by providing coaches with the tools to be role models. Our investment in South Africa underscores our dedication to youth empowerment worldwide, harnessing sports to pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future”, added Hariprasad Vishwanathan, Head – Sub Saharan Africa, VFS Global.

The goal of the WorldCoaches program is to give participants critical thinking skills and resources required to make critical decisions both on and off the field.

The Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga has been selected as the venue for the 2023/24 Nedbank Cup final. The long-awaited final is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 01 June 2024.

It marks the second time the 2010 FIFA World Cup venue will host the Nedbank Cup final. It follows the 2011 final when Orlando Pirates secured a 3-1 victory over Black Leopards at the same venue.

ALSO READ: Condolences continue to pour in for Luke Fleurs

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the semi-final draw, which took place on the very grounds where the final showdown will unfold, adding an extra layer of anticipation to the forthcoming matches.

Premier Soccer League Acting CEO, Mato Madlala, highlighted the importance of spreading the football experience to neighbouring countries through the selection of Mpumalanga as the host venue, in collaboration with Nedbank.

“We are thrilled to bring the Nedbank Cup final back to Mbombela Stadium,” she said.

“A venue rich in football history, having hosted memorable matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the AFCON. This is a pivotal occasion for both the PSL and our partners Nedbank as it highlights our joint dedication to expanding football’s reach and impact throughout South Africa.

“Moreover, hosting the final in Mbombela will also cater to football enthusiasts from neighbouring countries like Mozambique and Eswatini. Thereby boosting tourism in the region,” she added.

“We eagerly anticipate an electrifying final that will captivate live audiences. As well as those who will tune in on Television and Radio,” said Madlala.

Mbombela Stadium confirmed as Venue for Nedbank Cup Final
Mbombela Stadium

EXCITEMENT AS MBOMBELA STADIUM IS CONFIRMED AS THE NEDBANK CUP FINAL VENUE

Khensani Nobanda, Nedbank’s Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs reminded fans that this year’s Nedbank Cup is more than just the on-the-field action; it’s about the empowerment, emotions, and connections that football creates.

“We continue our commitment to the fans and in the spirit of Ke Yona, Ya Rona. We are bringing fans closer to the tournament by continuously taking the final showpiece around the country to showcase South Africa’s vast tourism activities, with 12 different venues used across South Africa since 2008”.

Meanwhile, the Nedbank Cup Semi-final draw results are as follows:

Chippa United v Orlando Pirates
Stellenbosch v Mamelodi Sundowns

Details regarding the semi-final fixtures, including dates, venues, and times, will be communicated in due course.

The South African Football fraternity continues to send condolences for the late Kaizer Chiefs defender Luke Fleurs. Fleurs was shot and killed in a hijacking incident in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening. The incident is said to have happened around 20:30.

ALSO READ: Makhehlene Makhaula cleared to return to action

“We are profoundly shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic and untimely passing of one of our players, Luke Fleurs,” his country Chiefs announced on Thursday.

“The 24-year-old former youth international lost his life after being shot during a hijacking on Wednesday evening in Johannesburg, He was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to gunshot wounds.”

MORE CONDOLENCES FOR THE LATE KAIZER CHIEFS PLAYER LUKE FLEURS WHO WAS SHOT AND KILLED

The South African Football Association have also sent their condolences to the Chiefs family.

SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan said football has been dealt a huge blow with the passing of Fleurs.

“We woke up to the heartbreaking and devastating news of the passing of this young life,” said Jordaan.

“This is such a huge loss for his family, friends, his teammates and football in general. We are all grieving this young man’s passing. May his dear soul Rest in Peace.

Condolences continue to pour in for Kaizer Chiefs player Luke Fleurs
Luke Fleurs

Meanwhile, the PSL has also announced that they will observe a moment of silence in honour of Fleurs.

“The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is shocked and saddened by the tragic passing of Kaizer Chiefs defender, Luke Fleurs,” the league said.

“In this moment of profound loss, the PSL extends deepest sympathies to Kaizer Chiefs Football Club. The Fleurs family, and the entire football community.

‘In tribute to Luke’s memory, a moment of silence will be observed at all DStv Premiership, Motsepe Foundation Championship, and DStv Diski Challenge fixtures this weekend.”

Soweto giants Orlando Pirates have confirmed the return to action of midfielder Makhehlene Makhaula following an injury scare. Makhaula collapsed and was taken to hospital during their Nedbank Cup win against Hungry Lions on Saturday.

ALSO READ: Condolences pour in for the late Siphiwe Mkhonza

But the club has issued a statement confirming that the 34-year-old has now been cleared to play.

“Orlando Pirates can confirm that midfielder Makhehlene Makhaula has been given the all-clear to resume training in the coming days, following his early withdrawal from the Nedbank Cup Round of 16 fixture against Hungry Lions at Orlando Stadium,” the club confirmed.

“The 34-year-old had to be stretchered off the field just before halftime on Saturday after complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath.

“He was treated by the Club’s medical team with assistance from the medics and promptly transferred to Milpark Hospital for further medical treatment.”

“All necessary investigations have been conducted, and the player has since been discharged after consultation with a specialist.

“Makhaula is scheduled to return to training on Wednesday, following assessment from the Pirates Medical Team,” Pirates said.

ORLANDO PIRATES MIDFIELDER MAKHEHLENE MAKHAULA TO RETURN TO ACTION

The player has revealed that he has been given a few days to rest before he can rejoin his teammates.

“I have been ordered to rest and have been taking it easy,” he said.

“The coach and the team doctor will advise on how quickly I can rejoin the team, but I’m feeling 100% and ready to go.”

Pirates’ next fixture is a DStv Premiership encounter with Sekhukhune United taking place at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, 30 March.