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Mamelodi Sundowns' Mokwena opens up on Erasmus incident, Orlando Pirates' Lepasa apologised

9:11 AM WAT 15/11/2022
Rhulani Mokwena, Kermit Erasmus, Mamelodi Sundowns vs Orlando Pirates, November 2022
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena has disclosed why he was upset following Orlando Pirates star Tapelo Xoki's dismissal over the weekend.
  • Mokwena was seen exchanging harsh words with his former player
  • The Masandawana tactician has revealed that Lepasa caused his reaction
  • Sundowns and Pirates are set to meet again after the World Cup break

WHAT HAPPENED? The 35-year-old mentor exchanged harsh words with former Sundowns striker Kermit Erasmus on the touchline during Saturday's Carling Black Label Cup final at FNB Stadium as Sundowns secured a 4-0 win over Pirates.
This was after Tapelo Xoki’s reckless challenge on Haashim Domingo had forced the Sundowns midfielder to limp out of the match and the Pirates defender was shown a straight red card.
Mokwena has now divulged why he was angry at Zakhele Lepasa and that he was surprised to see Erasmus attacking him with words, but the tactician stated that they have since buried the hatchet.

WHAT MOKWENA SAID: "My reaction was not to Xoki's tackle but to Lepasa who was clapping after that tackle towards Xoki as if he was encouraging that type of a behaviour," Mokwena told Marawa Sports Worldwide on Monday evening.
"Funny enough Zakhele Lepasa after the match came to me and said 'coach I apologize because I am also a victim of a career-threatening injury.' 
"Kermit then remonstrated and said things towards me that I felt that I didn't deserve especially from Kermit particularly with what we had been through together. There are a lot of things," he continued. 
"But to end it all, we exchanged texts yesterday (Sunday) and we spoke about it. And for me it is not just the one isolated incident. 
"There does seem to be a little more from the goal celebration (Erasmus celebrating in front of Sundowns fans after scoring for Pirates in an MTN8 match last month) to the interview [on SAFM] and now to this. Like I said to him towards the end of our conversation. I wish you love and light."

VIDEO OF MOKWENA ON ERASMUS AND XOKI:

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mokwena and Erasmus escaped punishment by match referee Thando Ndzandzeka following their touchline clash.
While Xoki, who was given his marching orders by Ndzandzeka, will be available for selection when the current PSL season resumes next month.
This is because the Carling Black Label Cup was an unofficial tournament and the bookings do not apply in competitive competitions.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR SUNDOWNS? Masandawana will renew their rivalry with Pirates after the 2022 World Cup finals.
The two Gauteng giants will meet in a PSL encounter on December 31 when the domestic campaign resumes.