Longest-serving Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates players ahead of the Soweto Derby

Here are the players with the longest stays at Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

Itumeleng Khune is unlikely to start this Saturday’s Soweto derby for Kaizer Chiefs, but he remains the longest-serving active player on the books of either Amakhosi or Orlando Pirates. One of the biggest PSL fixtures on the calendar beckons this weekend, and it’s sure to be entertaining in the context of the PSL table and standings.

Khune was promoted to the Kaizer Chiefs first team in 2004, but had to wait until Rowen Fernández’s 2007 move to Arminia Bielefeld to truly establish himself in between the sticks.

Until his recent spell on the sidelines, during which Daniel Akpeyi shone for the Glamour Boys, Khune by and large remained their undisputed number one.

The only other active player to have served on either side of the Soweto divide for more than a decade is Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele.

Jele has been in the Orlando Pirates first team since the 2006-07 season and has held the captain’s armband since Oupa Manyisa’s 2017 move to Mamelodi Sundowns.

No other Pirates player features among the combined top six longest-serving active players at the two Soweto giants. 

Bernard Parker, Willard Katsande, Kgotso Moleko, and Erick Mathoho have all been on the books of Kaizer Chiefs for longer than Pirates have had the services of Mthokozisi Dube, their second-longest serving player.

Dube came up through Pirates’ youth structures, but spent a year on loan at Sivutsa Stars and two at Bloemfontein Celtic. These are counted as seasons spent on the books of the Buccaneers’ first team for the purpose of this article.

George Maluleka has been a Kaizer Chiefs player since January 2014, while Ntsikelelo Nyauza joined Orlando Pirates that same month.

Siyabonga Mpontshane is the last player from either side to have served five years at his club, having joined Pirates from Platinum Stars in January 2015.

Longest serving players at Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs

*Current squads only.

Longest serving players at Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates
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Leonard Solms
Leonard Solms is a freelance South African multi-sport journalist who has written for a number of regional, national and international newspapers and websites. He won a Rhodes-Investec Top 100 Award in 2018, the year in which he completed his Bachelor of Journalism at Rhodes University.