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Most expensive PSL transfers ever

Posted: 28 September 2015 Time: 14:13

The smoke and mirrors that generally surround transfers involving South African clubs makes it difficult to determine their true value.

But after an extensive investigation and talking to insiders with knowledge of South Africa’s transfer business, KICK OFF has come up with what we believe to be the most accurate list of our most expensive transfers ever recorded. 

The situation is made more complex by the different elements that make up a transfer – from the straight fee paid by one club to another to the various add-ons and, in some instances, salaries when a player is loaned back to the selling club, as was the case with Keagan Dolly’s move from Ajax Cape Town to Mamelodi Sundowns.

The majority of deals done in the South African market are for free agents, or full or part swap deals. So big transfer fees are rare.

We have broken down our list as transfers between PSL clubs and and we have compensated to reflect the value of the transfer in today’s terms to better compare what their true value was at the time.


Khama Billiat
Transfer: Ajax Cape Town to Mamelodi Sundowns (2013)
Transfer fee then: R8-million
Transfer fee now: R8.84-million
By most people’s reckoning the biggest transfer ever between two PSL clubs. Some sources peg the figure even higher, at R10-million, but the majority have it at R8-million – a staggering amount of money nonetheless. Billiat had a better second season than his first and Sundowns hope that improvement continues. 

Keagan Dolly
Transfer: Ajax Cape Town to Mamelodi Sundowns (2014)
Transfer fee then: R7.5-million
Transfer value now: R7.79-million    
Dolly’s transfer from Ajax to Sundowns was complicated in that it was made up of the initial R6-million fee before Sundowns forked out a further R1.5-million on his wages for the season he remained with the Urban Warriors on loan, taking the total to R7.5-million. 

Buhle Mkwanazi
Transfer: University of Pretoria to Bidvest Wits (2014)
Transfer fee then: R7-million
Transfer value now: R7.27-million
Mkhwanazi was wanted by a number of clubs but ended up signing for Wits, who splashed out for his signature to beat off competition. Coach Gavin Hunt often says they have signed only loans and frees in his time with the club, but he overlooks this whopper of a transfer.

Morgan Gould
Transfer: SuperSport United to Kaizer Chiefs (2012)
Transfer fee then: R6-million
Transfer value now: R7.05-million
Gould was club captain at SuperSport and one of the top defenders in the PSL when he switched to Amakhosi in 2012. A succession of Achilles injuries meant he has not made anywhere near the number of appearances Chiefs would have liked to justify the fee, but when called upon, Gould has been steady and dependable. 

Mulomowandau Mathoho
Transfer: Bloemfontein Celtic to Kaizer Chiefs (2012)
Transfer fee then: R5-million
Transfer value now: R5.87-million
Figures suggested for Mathoho’s transfer fee range from between R4-million and R6-million. The true amount lies somewhere in the middle of that scale. Mathoho has repaid that by playing a major role in the club’s two recent League title wins.  

Edward Manqele
Transfer: Free State Stars to Mamelodi Sundowns (2013)
Transfer fee then: R5-million
Transfer value now: R5.52-million
Sundowns splashed the cash for bustling Free State Stars forward Manqele, but history suggests it was not money well spent. His performances were considered not up to scratch, and he then fell out with Sundowns over his release to Chippa United. Having paid so much for him, Downs were trying to recoup as much as possible. 

Cuthbert Malajila
Transfer: Maritzburg United to Mamelodi Sundowns (2013)
Transfer fee then: R5-million
Transfer value now: R5.52-million
Malajila was overlooked by many clubs before Ernst Middendorp, after a second trial, brought him to Maritzburg United in 2012. After just one season he was hot property and Sundowns won the race for his signature. Various sources place the transfer fee at between R4.5-million and R5-million, most towards the upper end.

Elias Pelembe
Transfer: SuperSport United to Mamelodi Sundowns (2009)
Transfer fee then: R4.5-million
Transfer value now: R6.06-million
Pelembe was the PSL’s Player of the Season in 2007/08 and SuperSport were bitterly disappointed to lose their man to their crosstown rivals, but the money was just too good to turn down. He recently left Sundowns for free, linking up again with Gavin Hunt at Bidvest Wits.

Anthony Laffor
Transfer: SuperSport United to Mamelodi Sundowns (2012)
Transfer fee then: R4.5-million
Transfer value now: R5.29-million
Sundowns’ bid for Laffor was not well received by SuperSport, but money talks. The versatile Laffor has been a steady campaigner in the PSL, though he has been used sparingly by Pitso Mosimane in the last two seasons.    

Daniel Cardoso
Transfer: Free State Stars to Kaizer Chiefs (2015)
Transfer fee: R4-million
Another big-money defender signed by Chiefs and a surprise entry into our top 10, but two different sources with knowledge of the deal confirm that R4-million is indeed the figure paid for Cardoso. The 26-year-old only made his Premiership debut in 2012/13, but has been a revelation – when fit. Injuries have curtailed Cardoso’s appearances to a large degree, but as this list shows, Chiefs are happy to pay top money for quality defenders.


This story appeared in the last edition of KICK OFF Magazine (issue 461). The new edition hit shelves this past Friday and is packed with great features and analysis, as well as old favourites like Secret Footballer and Best of the Best.

You can get your Digital Copy right now by CLICKING HERE!

Article by: KICK OFF
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