Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has congratulated his central defenders captain Aaron Mokoena and Bongani Khumalo for their recent achievements respectively.
This after the England-based Mokoena was nominated to receive the freedom of the city of London accolade, with Khumalo having signed for Tottenham Hotspur in England.
Mokoena was expected to be given the Freedom of the City of London on November 10, one of the highest honours the British capital can confer to an individual. The ceremony will take place in the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall in London. It will begin with an oath of allegiance and end by Mokoena being greeted as a “Citiezen of London” and the presentation of a framed Freedom certicicate.
Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by some municipalities in Australia, Canada, Ireland, France, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe to esteemed members of its community or to organisations that have given the community heroic service. The term applies to two separate honours, one civilian and one military.
Mokoena, who is also captain of Portsmouth FC in England, has been nominated for this honour for his services to football and charitable activity which he conducts under the Aaron Mokoena Foundation both in South Africa and in London, England.
“I am proud of his achievements, he has been a great servant of the national team and a wonderful ambassador for South African football abroad. In my view no one is more deserving of the honour. Mokoena has played more than one-hundred times for Bafana Bafana which shows the man’s qualities – on and off the field. This honour does not come as a surprise to me, he is a special player and a special person. We just hope this will serve as an inspiration to many players out there that whatever you set your mind to, you can make it,” said Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane.
Mosimane was equally ecstatic with more good news coming from London that Tottenham Hotspur has agreed to sign Supersport United’s Bongani Khumalo. The 23-year old defender entered a pre-contract deal that will see him moving to England-based Spurs when the transfer window re-opens in January, subject to a work permit being granted. Khumalo was on trial at White Hart Lane in September where he impressed coach Harry Redknapp. Spurs have taken advantage of long-term partnership establishment with SuperSport United three years ago to bring the defender to Spurs.
Khumalo played in all three of Bafana’s matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament held in June and July in South Africa, scoring in the 2-1 victory over France. He has featured in the last three matches of Bafana Bafana – Ghana, Niger and Sierra Leone – where he played alongside Mokoena.
“I am glad this is finally over for Bongani and I think it’s long overdue. He has performed consistently over the last few seasons and has matured as a player. This move will only help him grow more and in return it will benefit South Africa. This is encouraging and is in line with what I have always said that we need as many players as possible playing at the highest level to join the likes of Mokoena, Steven Pienaar, Kagisho Dikgacoi, MacBeth Sibaya and all our players abroad. In the way the beneficiary will be Bafana Bafana, and I am also hopeful that he will play when he gets there because if he doesn’t it defeats the purpose, we need our players playing regularly for their clubs-both locally and internationally,” said Mosimane