UCT to honour Chiefs founder Kaizer Motaung with a doctorate

07 July 2022 - 08:00
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Kaizer Chiefs chair Kaizer Motaung will be given an honorary doctorate.
Image: Veli Nhlapo/Sowetan Kaizer Chiefs chair Kaizer Motaung will be given an honorary doctorate.

The University of Cape Town will confer an honorary doctorate on Kaizer Chiefs founder Kaizer Motaung.

The university said Motaung would be honoured with an honorary doctorate in social sciences, along with six other recipients, this month.. 

Motaung started playing soccer for Orlando Pirates at the age of 16. He entered the world of international soccer in 1968, when Atlanta Chiefs founder and owner Dick Cecil and former West Ham United player Phil Woosnam recruited him after team trials in Zambia.

When he returned to SA, he started his own professional soccer team and named it Kaizer Chiefs after himself and his former team. 

Despite early setbacks and opposition, Motaung succeeded in assembling a good mix of veterans and talented rookies.

The club soon became a force to be reckoned with and attracted a large following. It eventually became the most successful team in the country, winning more than 78 trophies and gaining an estimated 14-million supporters throughout the country.

In 1996, Motaung cofounded with Irvin Khoza the South African Premier League (PSL), which helped bring more sponsors and money into SA professional soccer. 

He still serves as a member of the PSL board of governors, manages Kaizer Chiefs and serves on Safa’s executive committee. 

He helped SA’s 2010 Soccer World Cup bid committee as a member of the delegation to the Fifa head office in Zurich that won the bid.

‘It is long overdue’

The EFF welcomed the decision by UCT to bestow Motaung with an honorary doctorate.

“Kaizer Motaung has been a beacon of football development in SA, the continent and the world from when he was still popularly known as ‘Shintsha Guluva’ in his illustrious time as a footballer. 

“The EFF appreciates the fact that the university is playing a role in celebrating an African icon while he is still alive. This shows the institution is on the correct path of entering African excellence, even in fields that may not be academic in nature,” said the party

The party’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu said: “Well done UCT for honouring the founder and chairman of one of Africa’s most successful, solid and well-run institutions, Kaizer Chiefs. It’s long overdue to refer to the chairman as Dr Kaizer Motaung. We’re proud and inspired.”