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.

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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.


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.

Newly signed Orlando Pirates midfielder Makhehlene Makhaula has explained how his move to the club was close to being delayed by another six months. 

Makhaula was announced on a one-and-a-half-year deal from AmaZulu on the last day of the January transfer window period. 

The former Usuthu skipper has been one of the consistent performers in the PSL for the past few seasons. 

The move to the Buccaneers came as no surprise for the 33-year-old. Speaking to journalists on Monday ahead of the Soweto derby, Makhaula explains how the move nearly collapsed.

“I first heard it from my agent [Sizwe Ntshangase], He is the one who called me. We had been trying to push the move to happen during the January transfer period,” he said. 

Ben Motshwari and Makhehlene Makhaula
Ben Motshwari and Makhehlene Makhaula

“So on the 30th he told me that we should leave it and we will look at it again at the end of the season. But around 11 or 12pm on that day he told me to pack because we are going to Johannesburg.


“I was surprised and I couldn’t sleep because I did not believe that I was going to join Pirates. I couldn’t believe it because earlier on he told me something else but later on it was happening so I couldn’t sleep,” added Makhaula. 

“But it was all happening and he assured me in the morning to say the two chairmen [Sandile Zungu and Dr Irvin Khoza] have come to an agreement. So I had to go say my bye to the teammates at AmaZulu, it was sad but had to happen.” 


“There was no other number that I could have used. But the more I thought of Oupa [Manyisa] because he started at Pirates with number 36. So I told myself that I should revive the number.”

ALSO READ: Makhehlene Makhaula joins Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates have announced the signing of midfielder Makhehlene Makhaula from AmaZulu on a one-and-a-half-year deal.

Makhaula has spent the past three seasons at Usuthu and was one of the best performers at the club. He was also made team captain in the process.


“The club would like to thank AmaZulu management for the professional manner in how the transfer of Makhaula was handled,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Usuthu, through the leadership and guidance of Chairman Sandile Zungu, was transparent and cooperative throughout the negotiations, making the process quick and smooth for both clubs.

“We would like to commend the board for their conduct and wish them all the best for the remainder of the season,” said Pirates.


The 33-year-old has expressed his delight for joining the Buccaneers.

“I am so happy to have signed for one of the biggest clubs in the country,” he told the club’s website.

“It’s a dream come true for me. I am looking forward to meeting up with my new teammates and helping the Club move towards reaching their objectives.

Makhehlene Makhaula joins Orlando Pirates
Makhehlene Makhaula joins Orlando Pirates

“As I begin a new chapter in my career, I cannot do so without paying homage to my former club. To the entire board, the technical team, my teammates and the supporters of Usuthu, thank you all for everything you have done for me,” concluded Makhaula.

AmaZulu president, Sandile Zungu has also commended the experienced midfielder’s professionalism since joining Usuthu. 

“Makhaula leaves with our full blessings,” said Zungu. 

“He has served the club very well as captain and was the recipient of the President’s and the player’s player of the year awards two seasons ago with merit,” he added. 

In his career that started in 2014, Makhaula also played for Free State Stars as well as now defunct Highlands Park.

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