Kwaluseni: The man who founded Green Mamba Football Club was on Friday paid a surprised visit by the Green Mamba Management Committee (MC) at his home at Kwaluseni. This is none other than Simon Hlophe who is a former correctional service officer.
Chairman of the management committee Davis “Puma’ Zwane led the delegation of the correctional service side at Hlophe’s family at Kwaluseni. Hlophe formed the team in 1985 during which Edgar Hillary was the Commissioner General. Most players were being recruited from the then Mdutjana Juvenile Correctional Services facility, and at that time Hlophe was the officer in charge at the Facility which today forms the home base of green and white ensemble.
The Inyoka Eluhlazana delegation brought goodies such as food items and the team’s replica for the founder. Hlophe who is now 85 years old thanked the team (MC) for the surprise visit. “I was not expecting them and I appreciate what the team (MC) has done for me; I am very happy for the team success though now I stay home after my retirement,” said Hlophe.
He stated that the team is close to his heart being his product. Zwane highlighted that when Green Mamba was founded it was called” Prison Staff FC” before it was named Green Mamba. He said the name Green Mamba came while they were in Pigg’s Peak to play Black Swallows. He added that while preparing for the game, a green mamba snake fell off a tree just as they were to enter the field of play. “It was then that the team was given Green Mamba name,” said Zwane, adding that at that time the team was participating in the A division before it was promoted to the Premier League in 1989.