Orlando Pirates have announced the departure of defender Thabo Matlaba after he refused a reduced offer to extend his stay.
Matlaba is the latest exit at The Buccaneers with his contract set to expire next week, following the release of Jackson Mabokgwane, Abubbaker Mobara, Ayanda Nkosi and Thabo Qalinge.
Pirates have explained how the decision came to pass that the 31-year-old would be moving on, after having twice met with club chairman Irvin Khoza this week.
"On Tuesday 18th June 2019, Thabo Matlaba met with the chairman Dr Khoza to discuss his future at the Club," read a statement on Bucs' website.
"Dr Khoza confirmed to Thabo that his contract of employment was expiring at the end of June 2019 and asked Thabo to please come back to Dr Khoza on Thursday with a proposal of his package for a new contract.
"On Thursday 20th June 2019, Thabo Matlaba met with Dr Khoza as agreed. At this meeting (which was also attended by the Financial Manager), Thabo explained his personal situation and advised that he is not able to reduce from the current package that he is on.
"Dr Khoza explained to Thabo that the Club is not in a position to pay high salaries to players who are not playing regularly. Normally, Dr Khoza would release these players at the end of the players' contract but in Thabo’s case, as he has a special place for Thabo and also because Thabo has served the club so professionally and led by example as a captain over the past 7 years, he has not done this and has specifically asked the player for his input.
"Thabo confirmed that he is not able to take a reduction and requested the Club to issue him with a clearance so that he can be released from the Club to find a better offer somewhere else.
"Thabo came to the office today to finalise all paperwork with regard to his exit interview from the club and that he will be paid all monies owed to him, including his long-service bonus, in terms of his current employment contract."