Usuthu’s new owner walks the talk and digs deeper into his pockets

Johannesburg – Sandile Muziwenkosi Zungu is dreaming big.

The new owner of AmaZulu FC is burning with desire to turn the Durban-based PSL club into one of the top clubs of the 21st century.

If the club is not one of the most recognisable football brands in the country, Zungu’s ambition is to see Usuthu make their presence felt on the continent, just like Mamelodi Sundowns.

AmaZulu are one of the oldest clubs in professional football in the country, having been founded in 1932. They are the pride of the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

They celebrate 88 years of existence and are steeped in local football history. Usuthu lwamabheshu ankone even have King Goodwill Zwelithini as the club’s avid supporter. Zungu, 53, acquired the club from long-time owners, the Sokhela family.

With chairman Patrick Sokhela at the helm and his wife Jabulile and son Lunga as trustees, as 100% ownership of the club was transferred to Zungu’s entity called Zungu Investment Company (Zico), comprising a chain of different firms from minning to investments. An ardent Orlando Pirates supporter, the Umlazi-born tycoon Zungu has since ditched supporting Bucs, as he is on a mission to transform AmaZulu into an entity to be reckoned with, on par with Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Sundowns, but most significantly to compete for silverware.

It is still early days, but Zungu is not scared to put his hands in his deep pockets, judging by AmaZulu’s invasion of the recently ended transfer market. Pointers are that he means business and as a shrewd businessman who could even be classed as a millionaire, it seems Ama- Zulu’s future is in good hands, considering their past underachievement in the PSL era. Usuthu have not won a major trophy since lifting the Coca-Cola Cup (now Telkom Knockout) in 1992.

However, with the signing of top players like Xola Mlambo, Thembela Sikhakhane, Augustine Mulenga, Luyuvo Memela, Siphelele Mthembu, Limbikani Mzava, Makhehleni Makhaula and 2010 World Cup legend Siphiwe Tshabalala, this could mark a turnaround. Former Sundowns and Genk defender Anele Ngcongca was on the verge of joining AmaZulu when he tragically died in a car accident last week.

This week, Zungu unveiled national Under-23 forward Phakamani Mahlambi on loan from Sundowns and keeper Veli Mothwa permanently from Chippa United.

Also read: Usuthu’s Dlamini steps down as top flight team’s coach

Could it be that we have another Patrice Motsepe in the making? Hebe, Usuthu, Hebe!

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