by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – WITH nine deaths and more than 370 cases of the pandemic, the Free State Province has not been spared the ravages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis escalating across South Africa.
Thanks to the philanthropy of one of its most prominent sporting
treasures, Teboho Mokoena, more than 200 families that are among those
hardest hit by the national lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic
have received a major boost against hunger.
Families in his Bethlehem birthplace have benefitted from the generosity
of the SuperSport United and Bafana Bafana midfielder who has
demonstrated that his big heart on the pitch is so charitable off it.
“I have helped 227 families,” the midfielder disclosed in an interview.
“I have always wanted to give back to my community, especially now that
it’s a difficult time we are facing because of this pandemic,” the
“I used the opportunity because I was at home and I had the means to
help,” Mokoena, one of the league’s most consistent performers in recent
seasons, added during the interview.
The national team midfielder thanked a local milling company, his mother
as well as members of the extended family for assisting him with
ensuring foodstuff reached the intended beneficiaries during the
The outbreak of the COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions imposed at
the end of March coincided with the departure of Dean Furman, Mokoena’s
midfield colleague for club and country.
Furman, who captained the side to knockout competitions glory in recent
seasons, has returned to Europe for personal reasons.
He has left a void in the SuperSport United midfield that has been so dominant especially in the cups, the most recent being the MTN 8 won earlier this season.
Following the departure of his trusted captain, coach Kaitano Tembo has
called on Mokoena and fellow midfielders to plug the gap.
Mokoena admits it will be a daunting task to fill Furman’s boots but he
relishes the challenge.
“They are (too big to fill),” Mokoena said.
“I will do the job that’s required of me. We will definitely miss Dean
but we have to move on and finish the league strongly.”
SuperSport United were third on the log before COVID-19 halted the 2019/20 season.
Mokoena featured in 23 of those games and participated in 30 matches
across all competitions.
Overall, he contributed two goals from midfield but his six assists
demonstrate his vitality to the club from the capital city – Tshwane since his debut under Stuart Baxter in 2016.
Mokoena has since represented the club 111 times in official matches,
and Baxter handed him his first of three national team appearances that
have yielded one goal.
As authorities recently announced clubs in the elite league could return
to training under the current Level 3 of the lockdown, the player said
he had no qualms over the lockdown imposed towards the end of March.
“Training alone has always been my thing. I am not struggling anyway. I
only miss practising with mates and having fun at training,” he told CAJ
SuperSport United are currently on third position of the ABSA premiership league with 40 points, 11 victories, seven losses and six draws. Kaizer Chiefs are the current log leaders while defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns are second.
– CAJ News