Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach Manqoba Mngqithi has hit back at the accusations of Mandla Ncikazi that the Tshwane giants are benefiting, saying he is ill-disciplined and that is why he will miss the final.
Ncikazi won’t be on the bench for the MTN8 final when Orlando Pirates face Sundowns at the sold-out affair game at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday (18:00).
The former Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United coach was sent off last month when these two sides met at Orlando Stadium, with Ncikazi left furious after the Tshwane giants received a penalty after Themba Zwane was clipped down and Lucas Ribeiro Costa converted the spot kick which was enough to decide the match.
However, Ncikazi, having seen Sundowns get away with referees’ favourable calls, added his voice in what became a banter to his friend, saying “It’s not like we don’t know what is happening, we all see but we pretend as if we don’t see. I see people are quiet because I’m speaking the truth.”
Ncikazi said this after he went first on the podium to speak during the MTN8 final breakfast in Inanda on Thursday where both clubs were in attendance along with Golden Arrows chairlady Mato Madlala and sports minister Zizi Kodwa.
“Mr Ncikazi, I’d have loved to be with you on the pitch but unfortunately because you are ill-disciplined – you don’t respect officials, you are out,” said Mngqithi much to the laughter of those in attendance.
“It would be a nice opportunity to taste another final with you again and you witness me winning, just like you have seen that happen before. But God works in mysterious ways. He takes those who have trouble and puts them in their right places.”
Just like Ncikazi, Mngqithi also paid homage to Sisi Madlala, who gave him the opportunity to coach Arrows and was assisted by Ncikazi as they won the MTN8 title in 2009/10 season.
“I want to pass my gratitude to Sisi Mato because not many people would have given me an opportunity when I was that young and inexperienced,” said Mngqithi.
“I remember the situation we were in was very bad. We had played 15 matches and we were only having 12 points and it was clear that we were going to be relegated and she, her brother, the late Rocky Madlala gave me an opportunity and I’ll forever be grateful for that because not many people would take such a risky decision to give the youngest coach at that time who had never coached in the PSL before.
“With God’s grace, myself and Mandla, we managed to save the team and make sure that we delivered the trophy to the club. I really appreciate that.”
Both coaches will be gunning for their third MTN8 trophy since 2009/10 season, with Ncikazi helping Pirates win it last year and Mngqithi with Sundowns in the previous season – all at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.