Egyptian club Al Ahly cancels tryout for South Africa's Mokoena over his support of a politician

Egyptian soccer club Al Ahly has canceled a trial for South Africa midfielder Teboho Mokoena over his support of a politician

Mogomotsi Magome
Thursday 15 February 2024 17:05 GMT

Egyptian soccer team Al Ahly, the most successful club in Africa, has canceled a trial for South Africa midfielder Teboho Mokoena over his support of a politician.

Al Ahly said in a statement Thursday that it was not bringing Mokoena in for a planned tryout after he expressed support for South African opposition party leader Julius Malema, who has been accused of regularly singing a song that incites racial hatred in his home country. Malema denies the song sparks hatred.

On his return to South Africa this week after the African Cup of Nations, Mokoena referred to Malema, the president of the Economic Freedom Fighters party, as “my favorite president in the country.”

Al Ahly then canceled Mokoena's tryout next month.

“This decision comes in light of recent events surrounding Mr. Teboho Mokoena's public statement at OR Tambo Airport in South Africa where he expressed support for a notorious political leader Julius Malema who called for the killing of white South Africans,” Al Ahly said.

They said Mokoena's “endorsement of divisive views contradicts our core principles.”

The song in question has the lyrics "shoot the boer" or “kill the boer.” Boer is an Afrikaans word that refers to white farmers who settled in South Africa as a result of Dutch colonialism.

Malema has sung the song frequently and been accused by some civil rights groups of hate speech. He says he sings it because it is a liberation song that was prominent among Black people during the struggle against the apartheid system of white minority rule before 1994 and it should not be taken literally.

South Africa's equality court cleared Malema of hate speech over the song.

Mokoena was one of South Africa's best players at the African Cup as the country reached the semifinals for the first time in more than 20 years. He scored a brilliant free kick in South Africa's surprise win over World Cup semifinalist Morocco.


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