FORMER Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari has come out guns blazing and is fighting in Khama Billiat’s corner, as he believes the barrage of attacks the Kaizer Chiefs player has been receiving are unwarranted.
South African legend Linda “Mercedes Benz” Buthelezi reignited debate on whether Chiefs made the right decision to invest in Billiat.
He was particularly brutal in his assessment of the Warriors talisman’s contribution at Kaizer Chiefs, where his season has been blighted by injuries.
Buthelezi told South Africa’s Kick Off Magazine that the former Mamelodi Sundowns star should be offloaded to make way for equally talented players.
“Hey, Billiat must go, my brother. He is doing nothing for us,” Buthelezi, a former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs player, said.
“I am a Chiefs person mina. He must go. I don’t think Chiefs signed him because they wanted to invest in him in a sense of selling him overseas.
“If that was the case, we would have seen it by now.”
“It’s not like we don’t have such players in this country. If you can go to Baroka, they play good football, they have talented boys there; even Black Leopards have good players there.
“You can sign a few of them here and they will be very serious once they get here.”
The 30-year-old Billiat is back in the spotlight as his lucrative contract with Kaizer Chiefs is running out.
Amakhosi have an option of renewing it when it expires on June 30, but football manager Bobby Motaung and coach Gavin Hunt are under pressure not to do so.
Injuries have dogged him for the better part of the 2020/21 season.
All in all, he has featured 13 times and scored once when Chiefs were held to a 2-2 draw by basement side Leopards on December 9, 2020.
But Mwaruwari has refused to join the chorus of condemnation.
Instead, the 2001 South African PSL Player of the Year, who starred for current English champions Manchester City, feels it is now time the nation stood up “in defence of the traumatised Billiat”.
“People are allowed to speak out their opinions, but sometimes it is good to check the facts on the ground before you speak.
“Sometimes it’s critical to defend our own and I think it’s time to defend my boy, Khama. Some of this criticism is not fair; it is not justified at all and we need to stand up as a nation and lift this boy up,” the United Kingdom-based Mwaruwari told The Sunday Mail Sport.
“I laugh when I hear some South African legends claiming that there are a lot of good players in South Africa who can do better than Khama Billiat, and I ask myself: Where are they?
“If there were a lot of good players in South Africa, then they (Chiefs) wouldn’t have gone for Khama, later on pay him top money.
“Billiat went to South Africa, he lifted the game there, he won trophies there, including the CAF Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns, and everyone wanted him.