Cele, nicknamed as 'Sguqa' because of his physical stature, came head-to head with Khoabane when he was signed by Pirates from Maritzburg City in 2001.
Khoabane put in a challenge, which took out Cele, but Roy Barreto's Pirates side could not be stopped from pipping SuperSport to the league title in 2002/03. United were also runners-up in the league the season before to Cape Town-based outfit Santos.
However, the 46-year-old Khoabane did manage to win the BP Top Eight and SAA Super Eight in an eight-year spell with Matsatsantsa from 1997 to 2007 with victories over Kaizer Chiefs in the respective finals.
The former SuperSport TV pundit, who earned one Bafana Bafana cap and was part of the squad that won the country's maiden COSAFA Cup triumph in 2002, also claimed the ABSA Cup in 2005 when Pitso Mosimane's men defeated Wits University 1-0 in the final.
Khoabane, though, still feels terrible about what happened to Cele all those years ago.
"You know in football, Andile was one of those players that was an upcoming youngster and was going to be a household name for Pirates," Khoabane tells KickOff.com.
"I just arrived at SuperSport then so my intention was not to end his career, but just to make sure that he doesn't come back to me. Maybe if I kick him once then he'll never come back again and maybe change sides, and play on another side and all that.
"So unfortunately that was a career-ending tackle I launched on him of which I regret. It is not something that I can be proud of. Even today when I see him on Facebook and all these social networks it hurts, it comes back haunting me that I ended his career.
"Today it is still a nightmare to me and it is something that I'm not proud of."
Khoabane, who was a football analyst for Lesedi FM before leaving the Sotho station in the 2016/17 season, is now a media liaison officer for the South African Players' Union (SAPFU) and has his own company called Lalelani PTY LTD. He has big dreams for his enterprise.
"I'm trying to expand it like Bidvest, but I'm focusing on construction, I'm focusing on security, I'm focusing on cleaning," he explains.
"So you'd have your Lalela security services, your Lalelani cleaning services and Lalela construction, but the umbrella name is Lalelani trading enterprise."
Meanwhile, Khoabane feels it is rare for former players to still be married after they hang up their boots, as is the case with him.
"I met her in 1997 and I'm still with her. That is the only thing I have, because in South Africa when you were playing during our time we were not making any money.
"I think I'm one of a few players who have still got a wife after retiring. Because you know what happens with my colleagues, most of them their wives leave them after football is over. So, me, from football, this is what I have and it's a blessing to me."