Van Heerden initially left Usuthu in 2016/17 to join Chippa United where he helped Dan Malesela's side reach the MTN8 semi-finals with attractive football before coming up short against Mamelodi Sundowns.
His form and marauding attacks caught the eye of Pirates, who then signed him in the second half of that season, after playing 12 games and scoring one goal, along with James Okwuosa and Thembinkosi Lorch.
Van Heerden's debut for Bucs was one that he'll never forget as Pirates were thumped 6-0 by Downs at Loftus Versveld Stadium in a game, which was halted after fans stormed the pitch and vandalised broadcasting equipment.
Last season he fell out of favour, only making two league appearances and scoring once against the Brazilians at Orlando Stadium, as Innocent Maela made the left-back position his own at the Buccaneers.
"I think it was a difficult two years away for me. I went to Chippa, obviously I played and I went to Pirates and I didn't get the game-time," Van Heerden tells KickOff.com.
"It's been a rough two years and now I'm looking forward to the present and the future.
"I don't feel any regret. You know it is one of those things, that is how football goes.
"As a professional footballer you go and you rock up at training, you work hard, you push yourself to high levels and do whatever you have to do to try to get into the squad. Obviously it wasn't meant to be.
"No grudges, no regrets and just learning curves with things maybe beyond my control. Look, I can't pin-point things.
"Like I said, I was professional about my job and I can only control what I do. Whatever happened outside I can't control."
The 30-year-old is looking forward to resuming his career at Usuthu, having scored 11 goals in 129 games for the club from 2008 to 2016.
"I'm itching to play football. I'm itching to prove it to myself first and foremost and obviously to the football fraternity in the PSL," he says.
"I just want to go out and do my best for the club. The club has been there for me for many years and the club has the ambition to win things.
"The club has a good support base and last time I was in Durban it was good for my family. So there was a lot of factors that contributed to it [returning to AmaZulu]."
Van Heerden is likely to feature in the green and white of Usuthu when the club takes part in the KZN Premier's Cup at Durban's Princess Magogo Stadium on July 28.
AmaZulu could also showcase fellow recruits Emiliano Tade, Boiki Madisakeng, Nhlanhla Vilakazi, Moeneeb Josephs, Charlie Hlalele and Xolani Silawula at the pre-season tournament.