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Football | Absa Premiership

Mbulelo Mabizela © Backpagepix

Wits deny Mabizela sacking



Bidvest Wits have denied reports that former Bafana Bafana captain Mbulelo Mabizela has been fired by the club and accused journalists of being mischievous.

It was reported both on Thursday and Friday that Mabizela had his contract cancelled at the club because of disciplinary issues and fighting with teammates.

But Wits’ chief executive officer Jose Ferreira has released a statement to deny it, although admitted the central defender, nicknamed ‘OJ’, has no future at the club.

“OJ has a contract with Bidvest Wits until 30 June 2013 with an option until 30 June 2014 and this contract has not been terminated.

“Terminating a contract with a player due to misconduct, as seems to be alleged, requires a player to be charged with an offence, before a disciplinary tribunal, a finding of guilt and a decision by that tribunal to terminate the player's contract. No such process was conducted or is pending against our player, OJ Mabizela," the statement said.

"What has transpired is that we have advised the player and his agent that he is not part of our plans for the remaining duration of his contract with us and that we will consider offers from other clubs for his services during the forthcoming January transfer window period."

"It is unacceptable to us that journalists, having telephoned me for comment on these allegations, chose to go ahead with the story without publishing the club's response, despite my having furnished them with our response as set out above.

“To simply state that we made a bald denial of the allegation that the player's contract was terminated is disingenuous, in that it fails to set out the club's response, as given to him, and readers of the article have been left only with the version that the journalist has chosen for them to read. It is journalism at its worst and we repudiate it with the contempt it deserves,” Ferreira’s statement concluded.

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