Former Witbank Aces goalkeeper Joseph Sibiya claims favouritism and racial tendencies from a well-known former coach made him leave Mamelodi Sundowns.
Sibiya, who was a talented keeper who made his name with the old Aces back in the early 90s, won the Bob Save Superbowl in 1993 when the club shocked a star-studded Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in the final.
View pictures above of Sibiya's career and what he's up to today
Later in his career he earned a move to Sundowns, and now accuses Dutch former head coach Clemens Westerhof of discriminating between him and then-teammate Roger de Sa in 1996.
"I was a regular but the thing is, you know what I've learnt at Sundowns is that this belief that the best defence is a white man does exist," Sibiya tells KickOff.com.
"Your number five, the best keeper, must be a white guy you see. Ja so I saw many divisions at Sundowns whereby the players wanted me to play because they know how I was performing.
"I was playing even with Pitso [Mosimane]. Kenny Niemach was there. They could also see it was unfair for me. 1995 I was a regular at Sundowns. There comes that competition Iwisa [Maize Meal Charity Spectacular]. Then the following day I was on the bench.
"I was told by the coach that, 'No man, look there's national team selectors coming, they want to see Roger de Sa.' It's Westerhof who says that. Eish, we held a meeting even with the likes of [Alex] Tshakoane the PRO about that.
"Ja that time things they were not right. I'm supposed to play, now I must be relegated to the bench, and I finished the previous season as a regular. That's what made me leave Sundowns.
"Players I was playing with, [Roger] Feutmba, Thomas Libiih, they are fighting for me, 'This boy is playing, why should he...' I realised there was a race factor here.
"I ended up at Free State Stars. But Sundowns never sacked me, Nastasia [Tsichlas] was very good to me. United Bank Cup where we played against the likes of Benfica... do you remember that one? Even there it was the very same story to me: 'No, you will sit on the bench because Roger there's a team from Portugal they wanted to see him.'
"You know what, the teammates inside the dressing room they will all look down. You can ask Pitso, he will tell you. I was a top keeper."
Contacted for comment, De Sa insisted he has no recollection of what Sibiya is claiming. "No, I don't remember," responded the former Wits and Sundowns number one.
Westerhof's contact details appear to have been lost to South African football despite our best efforts to track down the 80-year-old former coach (pictured above).
Nevertheless, Sibiya reveals more about the competition he faced at Sundowns.
"Sundowns offered me R3 000 or R4 000, I don't remember, but because I was serious about playing for Sundowns I accepted. Wade Du Plesis was there [the former Chiefs keeper]," he recalls.
"It was me, Wade Du Plesis, Roger de Sa, Nelson Bandura. Westerhof chose me over Wade. That was in 1995. I played until '96 when we came second to Cape Town Spurs.
"There was no savings, it was hand-to-mouth my brother. As for trophies, I have a lot of runner-ups you know. I won BobSave in 1993, and earlier that year lost a BP Top 8 final to Pirates after I tried to dribble [Ettiene] Nsunda."
The self-employed Sibiya is currently based in KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga.
"Ja, now I have children. My son is playing rugby, he used to play for Pumas in Witbank [Pule Sibiya]. Now he is in Germany playing rugby. My daughter is working at the municipality. My wife works in the health department.
"I own a driving school, it's called Tshatsha Driving School, which I started while still at Aces."