“We are grateful about the acquisition of this important piece of land,” comments Chairman Kaizer Motaung. “It’s our way of making a contribution in the community from which we come. It is a historic and proud moment for us to announce this milestone. This did not come easy; it took a long haul of observing the on-goings with the other attempted transactions to acquire this land. At the end of the day, we are happy to eventually secure this land as our way of giving back to the community of Phefeni.”
The land is situated in Sentso Street and it features a soccer pitch and a church, making it a sacred land indeed. The community of Phefeni and nearby school use the land for recreational purposes.
Marketing Director Jessica Motaung flanked the Chairman during a ceremony attended by members of the Motaung family, several Kaizer Chiefs management and staff.
“It took a tireless effort of negotiations to reach this landmark moment,” reveals Jessica. “It has gone back and forth with exchanges of propositions. We are glad we never gave up and, eventually, after many attempts, we succeeded to reach finality. This is history in the making, above all because this is happening in the 50th anniversary of our Club. We are looking forward to making further announcements about the plans we have to develop this into a community sports facility. We will announce all that in due course.”
The Chairman reflected on the Club history with specific reference to the family home situated adjacent to the soccer field. “This is our home where it all started,” he says. And, while pointing to a picture frame of his parents on one of the walls inside the family home, Motaung adds: “Our parents received people from all walks of life into this house. We had supporters arriving unannounced and they were always warmly received. In fact, some of the yesteryear players stayed here. To mention a few legends – the late Patrick ‘Ace’ Ntsoelengoe, Joseph ‘Banks’ Setlhodi, Ratha ‘Jimmy Greaves’ Mokgoatlheng, Stanley ‘Screamer’ Tshabalala and many others stayed with us in this home.”
As has been wildly reported in the past, there was controversy surrounding previous attempts to acquire the piece of land for other use by property developers.
“The community has vehemently protested against the acquisition of this land by these developers,” remarks Motaung. “We want to use this land as part of preserving the history of Kaizer Chiefs, whilst at the same time giving back to the community. We intent to develop this into a proper sport facility. We want the children to use this to play sport with the goal of future stars emerging from these grounds. Who knows, some might even grow up to play for us one day.”
The Chairman led the gathering to walk on the soccer field to perform a rituals ceremony to mark the occasion and declare to the ancestors, as the owners, that this piece of land is part of Amakhosi’s history.
“We would have loved more people and the community itself to have been part of this special occasion, but we have had to consider the rising number of Covid-19 infections in the country,” explained the Chairman.
The land will be managed by the Kaizer Chiefs Foundation.