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The SA Football Players Union (Safpu) has accused Mbombela United of threatening to fire players for refusing to use muthi.



Sapfu president Tebogo Monyai is hopping mad after one of the club's new recruits, Lucky Mathosi, was suspended by the National First Division side.

Monyai claimed that Mathosi was one of at least three players who refused to drink or bath with the muthi, which he alleged led to his suspension. Mathosi joined the club recently.

"Some players have called me to say they have a problem. They say the club is taking them to a sangoma and the sangoma wants them to bath with and drink the muthi," Monyai said. Safpu says it is not against the club's practices, but this shouldn't be forced on the players.

"If the muthi is used on the kit or on the field or on the balls, the players say that's fine. It's a health problem for them, because you don't know what you are drinking," he said.

It's alleged that matters came to a head when the club threatened to terminate the players' contracts over the issue.

"That's where we come in as the union to ask, where does the issue of muthi become a contractual issue? Players signed contracts to play football and they didn't sign contracts... to use muthi ...

"We were also told that when they were in Mozambique [for a camp], the players were taken to a sangoma who cut the players' hands to draw blood and mixed it with the muthi," Monyai said.

Mbombela co-chairman Oupa Matsebula has rubbished Safpu's claims. Matsebula said Monyai was taking things "personal" because Mathosi is his "homeboy".

"He's abusing his position. We've got traditions and we also have internal procedures in terms of raising grievances, but because some players are friends with Tebogo they run to him. This is his homeboy and they even played together at Tuks [University of Pretoria]," Matsebula said.

The two did play together at AmaTuks but while Mathosi is Tshwane-born, Monyai is from Tzaneen in Limpopo.

"The boy [Mathosi] has never come to me to raise anything. If Tebogo says we used muthi, what's the colour of the muthi?

"Our players do come together and do things. It might be prayer and sometimes it's players who ask for these things to say, 'we need something to protect us'. No player was cut [on the hands] in Mozambique," Matsebula said, adding they suspended Mathosi for bringing the club into disrepute by speaking to the media without authorisation. The player declined to comment.





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