Amakhosi claimed a 2-1 victory over Free State Stars in a double header of games at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on the Day of Reconciliation public holiday, while there were also wins for closest challengers Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Elsewhere, Orlando Pirates were held to a draw, but Bloemfontein Celtic and University of Pretoria returned to winning ways ahead of the final matches of the year this weekend.
Stuart Baxter’s Chiefs will be most looking forward to the recess after they moved to 43 points with a routine win over Ea Lla Koto.
Strikes from Kingston Nkhatha (35) and Siyabonga Nkosi (52) took the hosts to their 13th league victory in 17 undefeated matches as Erick Mathoho’s 84th minute own goal proved scant consolation for the visitors, who stayed second bottom on the log.
The clash was the second of a double header at the Limpopo venue, which earlier witness regular hosts Polokwane City’s seven-match unbeaten run come to a brutal end as they were smashed 5-1 by Tuks.
Rise and Shine, fresh from winning Q-Innovation Quarter Two, were stunned by braces from Geoffrey Massa (76 and 84) and Thabo Mnyamane (47 and 87), as well a single goal from Atusaye Nyondo (74), with the home side briefly equalising early in the second half through Cole Alexander (55).
The Pretoria side’s win was their first in five matches and took them to 11th on the table, while City stayed ninth.
At the top, meanwhile, Chiefs’ total of 43 points was comfortably ahead of Bidvest Wits’ 30, which was only reached courtesy of a late Thulani Hlatshwayo (74) header in a 1-0 win over SuperSport United at the Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg.
Matsatsantsa fell to 12th with the loss.
Sundowns stayed third on the log thanks to an Anthony Laffor (50 and 63) double that helped them take down Maritzburg United 2-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
The hosts did pull a consolation back through Kurt Lentjies (85), but it was in vain as they lost at home for only the second time in 2014/15.
Ajax Cape Town stayed fourth on the table after they were held to a 1-1 draw by basement side AmaZulu at the Cape Town Stadium.
Usuthu lead through a late Ayanda Dlamini (85) goal and looked to be taking all their points until Franklin Cale smashed in a 25-yard free-kick in the sixth minute of added time.
Pirates could have leapfrogged the Urban Warriors had they won, but instead they too needed to come back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with third-bottom Moroka Swallows.
Siyabonga Nomvethe (34) had put the Birds in front at Dobsonville Stadium, with Lehohonolo Majoro (78) denying the hosts all the points.
Maritzburg follow Pirates on the table in sixth place, while Chippa United stayed seventh after a goalless draw away to Platinum Stars, who dropped to 13th, in Rustenburg.
Finally, Mpumalanga Black Aces clung on to the final top-eight spot despite losing 2-0 to 10th-placed Celtic at Mbombela Stadium.
Frank Mhango (57 and 89) was the hero for Siwelele as they ensured a winning start to the tenure of coach Clinton Larsen and also ended a four-game winless streak in the process.-www.psl.co.za