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No Salary For 5 Months… More Shock Revelations After Dismissal

Brighton Mhlongo, who was this week told to pack his bags by Marumo Gallants, went five months without a salary and paid out of his own pocket to repair an eye injury he suffered at training, the Siya crew can reveal.

Soccer Laduma has seen evidence that suggests the goalkeeper’s guilty verdict following an internal hearing arranged haphazardly could have been a ploy for the DStv Premiership outfit to shave off their heavy wage bill.

Mhlongo was also accused of absconding from “work” for three months, with team manager Rufus Matsena giving evidence at the hearing in Polokwane last week Friday to support the allegations levelled against the player.  

It’s no secret that Gallants have had financial difficulties dating back to when Abram Sello took over ownership from businessman Masala Mulaudzi and then subsequently requested to change the name from Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

Mhlongo was one of a handful of players who relocated to Venda after Bidvest Wits were sold to Mulaudzi in June last year, and was on a salary package of about R100 000 a month – and it’s understood he is still under contract until the end of the season.

He got hurt at training in April and immediately consulted an eye specialist, where he was informed he needed an operation or risk going blind.  

According to a report from the doctor where Mhlongo had his surgery and check-ups, the recommendation was that he retire from football and the second opinion the keeper sought elsewhere came to the same conclusion.

His medical bills are estimated at around at least R30 000, steep for someone without a salary during the most trying period in his career.

And given the long process it takes for any claims from insurance within the Premier Soccer League, by law the player should have been paid by Gallants as he still had a contract until June next year and they are obliged to.

The Siya crew has it on good authority that Mhlongo’s legal team has taken the matter to the PSL Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), and the outcome there will determine the way forward – but for now he is not being paid, and his jersey has been allocated to someone else this season! 

When contacted for comment earlier this week, Matsena was cagey about the issue and insisted that it was “sub judice”, but confirmed the hearing did take place.  

Mhlongo also told the Siya crew that he had received the verdict from Gallants regarding his pending dismissal, but didn’t want to make any further remarks.

“I can’t say too much, this matter is with my lawyer. But I can tell you I have received the verdict from the hearing and it’s disappointing,” was all the ex-Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was willing to say when asked for comment.

View the gallery above to see Mhlongo's long journey to recovery...


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