Sundowns mourn death of Krok
Johannesburg - PSL officials Irvin Khoza, Kaizer Motaung and Ronnie Schloss were among mourners at Abe Krok's funeral at West Park Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon.
Krok, the former president and owner of Mamelodi Sundowns, died earlier in the week, aged 83, after a long, debilitating illness.
Many past and present Sundowns stars, who became the best-paid in South African soccer, as well as former SA Football Association CEO Raymond Hack, were also there.
Krok was behind the aborted merger between Johannesburg sports clubs, Balfour Park and Jewish Guild, into a single entity.
His success story emanated from a modest, backstreet pharmacy in central Johannesburg after the Krok twins launched a highly-successful manufacturing business.
However, it was through his sports interests in later years that he became more widely known. After demonstrating his penchant for a bargain in the mid-1980s he purchased Sundowns for a song from the insolvent estate of convicted fraudster Zola Mahobe.
Krok eventually sold his controlling interest in the club to current president and mining billionaire Patrice Motsepe. He remained the honorary chairperson in appreciation of his role in turning Sundowns into one of the PSL's glamour clubs, alongside Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
He was at the helm of Sundowns during the period the club came under the administrative management of Natasha and Angelo Tsichlas, to become the most successful in the PSL.
In appreciaition of this, Krok gave the Tsichlases a minority 49 percent shareholding, before Motsepe gained 100 percent ownership by buying out all the club's shares.
"Abe Krok was not only a founding member of the PSL after the changeover in status from the NSL in 1997," said league chairperson Khoza, "but he provided valuable insight and experience gleaned from his long and successful career in business.
"His contribution will be indelibly remembered in the portals of the league and we owe a lot to him for what the PSL has achieved since," he said.
Said Schloss: "He was always a voice of reason at meetings, while imparting his knowledge, but prepared to listen and learn as well as a relative newcomer in soccer administration."