Cape Town - Cape Town City have confirmed that central defender Tshepo Gumede has been deemed surplus to requirements and has been released.
Gumede was one of City's standout performers under head coach Eric Tinkler in the 2016/17 season and missed only two league matches.
But last season the emergence of Taariq Fielies saw Gumede struggling for game-time, the 27-year-old having made just eight starts and three substitute appearances in the Premiership.
The Citizens, who have lost central defender Robyn Johannes to Wits after he signed a pre-contract agreement earlier this year, have decided to cut ties with the former Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates defender.
"The club can confirm that it has not taken up the option to renew Tshepo Gumede's contract," read a club statement.
"He has performed a great service to the club over the last couple of years‚ but at this stage of his career it is important to be playing regularly.
"Given the long-term national team prospects that we have in that position‚ Tshepo did not get enough game time. Cape Town City does not believe in frustrating and jeopardising our players' careers for financial gain. Yes‚ football is a business‚ but we are also human."
Apart from Fielies, City also have Kwanda Mngonyama in central defence, and have reportedly signed a yet un-named north African defender.
Maritzburg United defender Bevan Fransman has also been linked, but so far this appears mere speculation.