Panyaza Lesufi has officially resigned from his duties at Premier League club Swallows FC DStv (nee Moroka Swallows) to focus on his political career.
Lesufi is Gauteng’s MEC by training and is praised for this role. But since he was elected ANC chairman of Gauteng Province, his duties have doubled, hence his departure from Dube Birds.
Pañaza became Swallows president after helping to bring the club back from its doldrums three years ago.
He went public with his promise to help the club come back after being promoted to the SAB leagues. Lesufi managed to persuade David Mogashoa to finance the club, and they bought Maccabi the status of champion of the GladAfrica Championship.
The Dube Birds had a good campaign in the first league of the country, and they automatically rose to the premier league, where they have had both success and failure over the past two years.
But since Lesufi is the provincial ANC chairman, he could become Gauteng’s next prime minister and lead the party’s campaign from next year until the 2024 election.
“With my new responsibilities today, unfortunately I have had to step down as president of Swallows FC,” Lesufi wrote on his social media on Sunday.
“I wish the team good luck. Don’t follow me, follow the birds,” he added. The Swallows will definitely miss Lesufi’s lead, especially after a jittery season where they avoided playoff relegation.
His presence in the playoffs is said to have had a big impact on the team that managed to do well in the playoffs.
He recently publicly acknowledged the club’s financial difficulties and directly laid the blame on PSL, stating that they denied Swallows potential sponsorship from Telkom, which could have made a huge difference.