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Maritzburg United chairman thanks players, technical team for results
23 April 2018, 10:03 AM

Maritzburg United chairman Farouk Kadodia has thanked his technical team and players for making sure that the Team of Choice progressed to the final of the Nedbank Cup.

United will play in the  final for the first time in history after beating Mamelodi Sundowns by three goals to one in the semi-final match played on Sunday in Harry Gwala stadium.

They will play Free State Stars in the final to be played in Cape Town stadium on the 19th of May. Stars defeated Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

Kadodia says the team have made history.

“15 years in the PSL and today is a historic moment for the club. I need to thank the technical team for their efforts and also players for playing the game according to plans and at the end of the day this would be in archive of the team,” says Kadoida.

Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns coach has congratulated the Team of Choice, especially Fadlu Davids for taking the team to the final in his maiden season as the head coach.

Motaung Snr pleads for patience from Chiefs fans
20 April 2018, 4:17 PM

Kaizer Chiefs boss Kaizer Motaung has asked the supporters, who will be attending the club’s Nedbank Cup clash against Free State Stars at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday to behave themselves regardless of the match’s results.

This call follows the bad behaviour by club fans at the FNB Stadium in their 3-0 loss to Chippa United in the Absa Premiership encounter. Amakhosi have been fined an amount of R250 000‚ of which R200 000 has been suspended‚ for the acts of unruliness against the Chilli Boys.

“We are aware that there is a sense of unhappiness due to a lack of positive results and the drought of trophies in recent seasons. The management and technical team are working hard to improve our play and change our fortunes. We therefore appeal for patience until the end of the season,” says Motaung on the club’s website.

Motaung says at this stage, circumstances do not allow them to make immediate changes.

However, he says they are looking to have a complete overhaul of the team before the commencement of the new season.

“We are aware of the disappointing results, but violence is never acceptable in our football. We know that it’s only a small percentage of our supporters who are involved in this violence and we have to fight it. We don’t want supporters to get arrested and get into trouble with law enforcement. Violence is not in line with our spirit of love and peace,” adds Motaung.

Chiefs are currently fourth on the log standings while Stars follow closely on fifth place.

Wenger to end 22-year Arsenal stay
20 April 2018, 2:06 PM

Arsene Wenger announced on Friday he is bringing down the curtain on 22 years at Arsenal that have been full of trophies but tarnished by struggles in recent years to challenge for the Premier League title.

The 68-year-old arrived at the London club in 1996 a relative unknown but leaves widely hailed as the greatest manager in Arsenal’s history after three Premier League titles and a record-breaking seven FA Cup triumphs.

Wenger, who completed the Premier League and FA Cup double in his first full season in England, was hailed as an innovator in his early years and his spiky clashes with former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson became the stuff of legend.

Yet despite cup success in recent years, fans have become increasingly frustrated by the club’s inability to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for the Premier League title and a failure to reach the sharp end of the Champions League.

“After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” Wenger said in a statement posted on the club’s website.

“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.”

Wenger arrived at the Emirates with Ferguson’s United at the peak of their powers but immediately threw down the gauntlet, winning the Premier League and FA Cup double in 1998, before repeating the feat four years later.

But perhaps the most remarkable achievement of his long reign was going through a full league season unbeaten in 2003-04, with his “Invincibles” playing a captivating brand of fluid football.

– Champions League –

But after an incredible 19 successive years in the Champions League, Arsenal, in sixth place in the Premier League, could miss out for the second consecutive year after a disappointing league campaign.

Their only realistic chance of qualifying for next season is by winning the second-tier Europa League — the Gunners face Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals — and Wenger has urged the fans to get behind the club.

“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high,” said Wenger. “To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.”

Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke paid tribute to a man of “unparalleled class”.

“Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude,” said Kroenke, who took a controlling stake in the club in 2011.

“One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsene has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched.”

Arsenal added that a successor to Wenger will be found “as soon as possible”.

– Frustration –

Wenger took charge with Arsenal in the doldrums in October 1996, but quickly set about a revolution in English football by overhauling players’ diets and bringing an end to the drinking culture that had dogged the club.

Results soon arrived on the pitch as Wenger’s men beat an all-conquering Manchester United side to the title in 1997-98 and won the league again four years later.

Despite their constant presence in the Champions League Wenger was never able to end Arsenal’s quest to win the competition for a first time. They closest they came was in 2006 when a young side was edged out 2-1 in the final by Barcelona.

That season was also Arsenal’s final campaign at Highbury but the promise that moving to the 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium would allow the club to compete financially with the biggest spenders in England and the continent failed to materialise.

Instead, Wenger was much criticised for his unwillingness to spend the money needed to keep up as booming TV revenues saw Premier League rivals splash the cash in an arms race.

Arsenal even sold a host of star players such as Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

And the fans’ frustration continued to grow as, even after loosening the purse strings to buy Mesut Ozil in 2013 and Alexis Sanchez a year later, Arsenal still failed to compete for the title or the Champions League.

Sanef describes claims linking journalists to Stratcom as disgusting
20 April 2018, 12:21 PM

The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) says is deeply concerned and disgusted by the labeling of certain prominent South African journalists and editors as “Stratcom” agents in a front-page article published by all major Independent Media-owned newspapers on Friday.

This comes after accusations that many veteran journalists were reported to have worked as “Stratcom” agents without any proof being provided.

The faces and names of journalists who have reported critically on this transaction are published alongside those of Vic McPherson and other masterminds of the apartheid state’s Stratcom operation whose main aim was to plant division and spread lies in the anti-apartheid movement.

Sanef has described these claims as not only defamatory, but disgusting.

“This is a sad day for South African journalism. The Independent Media group has been a critical part of the media landscape for decades. Some of the finest journalism to come out of this country has been produced by journalists working on titles like The Star, Cape Times and The Mercury,” says Sanef.

Sanef says it will urgently engage its members at Independent Media to convey their deep concern about this unfair episode and gain a better understanding of the issues that are seemingly not serving journalism.

“We will further write to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), a main shareholder in Independent Media to urgently express our deep concerns about the lapse of journalistic principles and standards at this important voice in the media landscape,” adds Sanef.

The Editors’ Forum says it stands in solidarity with editors and journalists within the Independent Group who value editorial independence but are seemingly powerless to stop these stories.

 

Mkhize seeks solution from black professionals over dysfunctional municipalities
20 April 2018, 11:16 AM

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Zweli Mkhize, is meeting with black professionals in Johannesburg to discuss support to distressed and dysfunctional municipalities.

The Minister will meet with black engineers, chartered accountants, auditors, lawyers, corporate governance experts and other professionals to discuss support to the municipalities, ahead of the Cogta Budget Vote in parliament next month.

Mkhize recently announced that 7% of the country’s municipalities are classified as well-functioning and about 31% of the municipalities are reasonably functional, with 31% almost dysfunctional.

He wants to create a pool of skills to utilise these professions for interventions in distressed municipalities. This will also address the challenges of unemployment especially for black professionals.

 

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