Former Kaizer Chiefs star Junior Khanye knows too well the pathway the Mamelodi Sundowns duo of Andile Jali and Sipho Mbule are allegedly trudging on.
Khanye has reconciled his life from years of alcohol abuse, establishing a career in punditry, acting and music.
The Daveyton-born Khanye has previously revealed that he had 15 car accidents while under the influence of alcohol.
And now, with reports filtering in that Sundowns have suspended the immensely talented duo of Sipho Mbule and Andile Jali, Khanye has given his heartfelt advice.
“Truly speaking, I’ll be transparent and open; they have blundered here. I want to speak from experience,” he told iDiski TV.
“With the talent we had, we were told, and we could see [that we had talent]. This kind of thing cuts your career [short] because your reputation is gone.
“You can be so good, and coaches appreciate you but remember, when they make decisions, it’s not one person. It’s a board.
“What they did – we know Mbule, this isn’t the first time, even Andile, I think he’s done it before. You know I love Andile because of his talent and character. You hardly see such players.
“It’s a big blunder, the team is doing well, and Mbule was starting to find his feet. Andile was not even playing and is out of contract in June, and anything can happen. He can get a team.
“They should have stayed behind if they knew they had taken alcohol or even avoided drinking, knowing you have training the following day.”
Khanye recalls his shenanigans during his playing days that landed him in trouble. Several times, he says, the club sat him down with his mother, trying to correct him.
“I did that thing knowing that Kaizer Chiefs loved me so much. Kaizer Chiefs sat with me, with my mom many times, trying to correct me, but they let go at an early age,” he added.
He acknowledges that his off-field behaviour short-circuited his career, which he fears may happen to the 24-year-old Mbule.
The former SuperSport United midfielder joined Sundowns at the start of the season. He is still finding his feet at Chloorkop.
“They [Sundowns] are playing Champions League, and they need him [Andile Jali]. We need to be honest. They need him. They are still in the Champions League, Nedbank and League and need to rotate.
“They [Mbule and Jali] would have played the Nedbank Cup games [on Thursday evening]. What they did is not something you can easily bounce back from. Many superstars had their careers cut short because of this,” Khanye said.
Nonetheless, he believes Sundowns must rehabilitate the duo. “Those are humans. I don’t condone that, but I think the team needs both of them. Even if Andile Jali’s contract is out [expires in June], he is still contracted. There must be a punishment, but not releasing them.”