Former Mamelodi Sundowns forward Cuthbert Malajila has revealed he almost joined Orlando Pirates in 2013, but Mamelodi Sundowns hijacked the move which saw him ending up at Chloorkop.
After scoring 11 Premier Soccer League (PSL) goals for Maritzburg United in the 2012/13 season, Pirates came calling for Malajila’s signature.
But as he seemed headed for Pirates, having agreed terms and about to put pen to paper, Sundowns surfaced with a better offer.
The former Zimbabwe international then made a sudden turn which culminated in six seasons at Sundowns, punctuated by a season loan stint at Bidvest Wits.
“I was set to join Orlando Pirates and terms had been agreed only for Mamelodi Sundowns to sneak in with a better offer at the 11th hour and I was off to Pretoria,” Malajila told The Chronicle.
“Looking at what I won, I have no regrets. The stay at Sundowns gave me fame and success, adding colour to my career.”
Four league titles, a Nedbank Cup and a Telkom Knockout trophy marked his time at Sundowns.
The 34-year-old is, however, no stranger to having clubs stampeding for his signature.
In 2008, he was a subject of a tussle between Zimbabwe’s traditional giants Highlanders and Dynamos while he was turning out for Chapungu United.
Then two years later, Tunisian side Club Africain poached him when Maritzburg were about to sign him following a successful trial.
“I must say this issue of counter-offers was not new to me. First, it was Highlanders outbidding Dynamos for the 2008 loan before the Harare giants turned the tables the following year. Then in 2010 having attended trials at Maritzburg who had almost agreed on a deal with Chapungu, Dynamos travelled to Tunisia to play Esperance [in the Caf Champions League],” said Malajila.
That is when Club Africain spotted him and moved quickly to land his signature.
“After getting wind that Club Africain had signed me, Maritzburg made a futile offer to refund them the money and continued throughout my stay making their third attempt just before I was loaned out to Libya side Al Akhdar,” Malajila said.
Maritzburg then finally got their man in January 2012. After leaving Sundowns at the end of last season, Malajila joined Black Leopards on a two-year deal but his stay in Limpopo was short-lived and lasted until February.