Orlando Pirates have announced the passing of one of their former players, Bomber Mzayoni.
Salthiel “Bomber Mzayoni” Chochoe was part of a team that changed the face of football in South Africa. He was part of the class of 1967/1968.
They did a clean sweep, winning everything that was there to win in the NPSL – the black football league in the then racially divided South Africa. They were so good they wanted to prove it by playing Highlands Park, the best team in the NFL – the white football league at the time.
The then House of Assembly member and known Apartheid enforcer Jimmy Kruger threatened to disband the club and went as far as calling for the banning of the team from playing in municipal grounds. This team traveled by road to play in Durban and Cape Town in defiance of Kruger, who also ensured the team was refused permission to travel to Swaziland and Lesotho.
It was this team that planted a seed that led to soccer amalgamating into one non-racial league.
The team, that played the most effective 4-4-2 at the time, were – Goalkeeper: Gert van der Haar; Defenders: Hans Moses, Salthiel “Bomber Mzayoni” Chochoe, Dingaan “D&D” Phakathi, Mainline “Stimela sa Mampondo” Khoza; Midfielders: Bernard “Dancing Shoes” Hartze, Percy “Chippa-Chippa”, Moloi, Rashid Kahn, Ralph “Ndabazantu” Hendricks, Zero Johnson; Strikers: Kaizer “Chincha Guluva” Motaung and Allen “Danger” Chiyi.
Orlando Pirates Chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza, remembers “Bomber Mzayoni” as a man of many talents, on and off the field. “I remember him as a defender that scored goals. He exploited his knowledge that, except in set pieces, teams hardly planned to defend against defenders. He was at some stage the Secretary General of the Club. He was a gifted debater with a gift of the gab,” Dr Khoza said.
The funeral for the late Mr Chochoe, will be held on Wednesday, 3 June 2020.
Address: 677 Mpela Street, Dube Soweto (next to the Boxing Club).
The Legend will be laid to rest at the Oliphantsvlei Cemetery.
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By Orlando Pirates