Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has thanked Bongani Zungu for rejecting ‘more lucrative offers’ to return to the club.
Zungu, 29, was announced in front of a packed Loftus Versveld on Saturday afternoon before the champions beat Kaizer Chiefs 4-0 in their DStv Premiership clash.
It marked another blockbuster signing for Masandawana, who have secured Ethiopia sensation Abubeker Nassir, who scored against Chiefs this afternoon, Marcelo Allende, a senior Chile international and highly-rated Morocco defender Abdelmounaim Boutouil – both of whom have yet to be officially confirmed by the club.
But with Zungu known to have attracted interest from Amakhosi and abroad, his return to Masandawana shows a real signal of their intent to better their domestic treble success of the 2022/23 season.
“I want to give a huge congratulations to the club, the Sporting Director Flemming [Berg], the President of the club, the chairman of the club, the management, Yogesh [Singh].
A lot of hard work [went on] behind the scenes, it was a complicated deal, it took very, very long, a lot of issues,” Mokwena said in response to iDiski Times in the post-match press conference.
“I also want to thank Bongani for his patience and trust, because he had other offers. And Bongani chose to come to us and he was very patient. Even more lucrative [offers] than we had thrown.
“But sometimes it helps when there are very good relations between coaches and the player because then the desire to come and work with the coaches, to come and be part of the set-up helps.”
He continued: “I want to thank Bongani for the patience, thank his mother also, and his family for the support they gave him in trying to make sure he chooses us instead of the other options that they had.
“And we’re just excited that the club has made the decision to support in bringing Bongz here and we’re looking forward to him coming into the team and competing for a position which will be very very difficult.
“We’ve got very good players in Bongani Zungu’s position and he’s a very good player which makes the competition even stronger. I can’t help but thank the club but acquiring and bringing back Bongz.”
Zungu represented Sundowns 68 times during his first stint between 2013 and 2016, where he won the Nedbank Cup and two league titles before earning a move to Portugal with Vitoria Guimarães.