Working at Orlando Pirates with Zinnbauer was going to be hard - Mokwena

Rhulani Mokwena has explained how his move from Orlando Pirates to Chippa United came about. 

The Soweto-born mentor admitted the arrival of Josef Zinnbauer coupled with things that were said soon after his appointment made him realise it was going to be difficult to work with the German mentor at the club. 

Mokwena revealed that he then met with Pirates chairman Dr. Khoza and requested to be given permission to go overseas, adding that he took a sabbatical when he returned from Europe.  

"When the new Orlando Pirates coach [Zinnbauer] arrived, and of course, through words and certain things, I could see that it was going to be a difficult environment [to work in]," Mokwena told Lesedi FM

"And the right decision was for the chairman to allow me to go overseas and, thereafter, I still continued on my sabbatical." 

The former Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach then received a call from Chippa Mpengesi whose team had just lost Norman Mapeza. 

And Mokwena said some people had advised Mpengesi not to hire him as Mapeza's replacement but claimed the Chippa boss followed his instincts in the process of appointing the ex-Pirates interim coach.   

"But while I was still on that sabbatical, the chairman of Chippa United gave me a call because he was also caught with pants down in a situation that Norman Mapeza had resigned," continued the 35-year-old mentor. 

"So, when Norman Mapeza resigned, I got the call from Chippa, the chairman, even though it's surprising because there were advises from people to say, 'don't bring that guy'.

"He told me he had to follow his instincts.

"So, there was an agreement with the chairman himself, Dr. Khoza and he gave me his blessings that I continue the rest of my contract at Chippa United.

"So, that's how it [the move to Chippa] came about."

Mokwena was not his usual self in Zinnbauer's first match in charge of the Sea Robbers in December 2019 and he was criticised for isolating himself from the rest of the technical team at the time.