Former AmaZulu striker Rhulani Manzini
says he left the club due to tribalism, but team manager Qedi Dlamini
insists he never mentioned it to management.
The 32-year-old spent only one season at the KwaZulu-Natal outfit
before returning to Chippa United in August 2018, and he claims he left
because he was being targeted with abuse for his cultural background.
"The tribalism is the reason I left AmaZulu. It did make me leave.
The following season, I did not want anything to do with the club. I did
not want to be in that space," Manzini told PowerFM.
"One of the managers said to me, 'It is better if you only play away matches and not home matches'.
"It was difficult. I could not settle because it affected me big
time. I had to speak to professionals. I was the leading goalscorer but a
lot of the supporters at AmaZulu were calling me names, telling
management they don't want me in their team.
"I would tell my captain that this is not right. I told him about
this player at (Orlando) Pirates, (Thamsanqa) Gabuza. He walked out
because fans were abusing him. I was close to doing the same at AmaZulu.
The captain said I'm not the first one to go through this. It was the
worst period of my career."
However, Dlamini has refuted Manzini's claims and revealed that the
reason for the player's struggles at AmaZulu came down to his
"Not once did Rhulani (Manzini) report he was being harassed, by
supporters of the club, for his moTsonga background," Dlamini told the
"It became evident that a large portion of our fans were unhappy with
his performances and he became subject to that pressure, however, he
was not the only one.
"It got to the point whereby we had to call meetings with our
supporters, asking them to refrain from being negative towards our
players, when the team wasn't doing well. The supporters club even came
to training to reassure our squad that they were behind us 100%. We are a
multiracial club and it's been that way since the 70s.
"I never suggested that he play away games only, how can I do that
knowing that I would be interfering with team selection. The season he
left, was the season he had many problems with our technical team, which
he reported to us but beyond that, he lost his starting position and it
was hard for him to accept."
- TEAMtalk media