Some good banter was exchanged between the two parties in the build-up to this weekend's much-anticipated clash at the FNB Stadium, with Mphahlele calling Jele out for false pretences over their league ambitions.
“We’re not thinking about the league at the moment, but only to improve our game,” said Jele, when asked about their title chances being on the line in Saturday’s encounter.
However, Mphahlele refused to buy into this statement and immediately called his counterpart out for putting on a facade, before challenging Bucs to field their reserve team if that is the case.
“Happy [Jele] has just lied because they are number two, but he says they are not thinking about winning the league title,” responded Mphahlele.
“I don’t know, what are you thinking about then? Obviously, if you are number two then you want to fight for the league.
“It’s the same as us, we are number three – one point behind Pirates – so we’re fighting for the league. There’s no need to beat around the bush. We want to try and challenge for the title.
“If Pirates don’t want to challenge for the league, maybe they should bring their MDC team.”
The Bafana Bafana fullback also defended the possibility of the tie ending in yet another draw, but insisted that it is never their intention.
“We’re fighting for the league, so we’re going to give it everything. It’s a big game and we’re playing a team that has done really well since bringing in coach Micho and coach Rhulani,” he said.
“They’ve also brought in new players because, if you look at Pirates, they have many new faces and they seem to be gelling very well, we saw they scored four goals … and also conceded two – I’m just saying, I was watching.
“We know it’s difficult for the fans to come and fill up FNB Stadium and then it ends in a draw, but it’s a big game – it remains the biggest game in Southern Africa.
“We go in there trying to win the game, but at the same time we’re not going to open up. We will attack Pirates and I’m sure they will attack us.
“I just hope and pray that we have a winner at the end of the day because one team needs the win to close the gap on Sundowns.”
The former Downs skipper further proposed a treaty that would ensure one team puts pressure on his previous employers, albeit jokingly.
“Perhaps we can just make a Soweto-deal [with one team saying to the other], ‘You win and then close the gap on Sundowns.’ … But, we’ll give it our best,” he concluded.