BY FORTUNE MBELE
FORMER Warriors leftback Charles Yohane has torn into the Kaizer Chiefs leadership for the way they dismissed long-serving midfielder Willard Katsande .
Katsande’s contract at the South African giants was not renewed after the former Warriors skipper was reportedly called to an emergency meeting on Monday, where he learnt his fate after a 10-year stint at the club.
Like Katsande, Yohane spent close to a decade at Bidvest Wits and was pushed out, but the club honoured him by roping him into its technical structures in their development side.
He was, however, left jobless when the outfit collapsed last year.
Katsande was given hope of a contract renewal and even played in the Caf Champions League final against Egyptian giants Al Ahly on July 17 when his contract ended in June, only to be given a lifeline just to play the final.
“It was an awful way of sending him off after 10 years of service. I felt the sending off should have had some respect,” Yohane told Kick-off.com.
The former Warriors defender drew comparisons to how another ex-senior national team player Tinashe Nengomasha left Naturena after 10 years of loyal service to the club.
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“How are other players going to be motivated to stay long if you will be treated this way at the end? I don’t think it was a matter of Willard not being able to play anymore. Whenever he played, he gave his all, including in the recent Caf Champions League semi-finals and finals. Maybe Willard was treated this way because he is a foreigner because this is the same thing that happened to Nengomasha after 10 years with the club. Nengomasha was not finished upon leaving Chiefs and this tells me that at Chiefs, you can never retire there as a foreigner, they will send you away regardless of what you did for the club,” Yohane said.
He contends Katsande shouldn’t just have been laid off just like any other player considering his long stay at Chiefs.
“With Willard having been the senior player that he was, his sending off shouldn’t have been like that of any other player that they decided not to keep. Chiefs already knew that they will not keep Willard, so I feel they should have let him know about it in advance rather than waiting to let him know at the last minute like they have done now … I don’t understand how Chiefs show so little respect for someone who gave his heart for 10 years. He was playing regularly for all those 10 years and suddenly, he is pushed out just like that at the last minute,” Yohane said.
In a farewell letter posted on social media, Katsande said: “It is with a heavy heart that I must leave my beloved Kaizer Chiefs family. I am honoured and eternally grateful to the chairman of the club, Kaizer Motaung, for granting me the opportunity to represent this great institution over the last decade.”
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