Home Affairs confident Mokotjo will be able to play for Bafana on Saturday
The Department of Home Affairs is confident it can solve the eligibility issue surrounding Kamohelo Mokotjo to enable him to play for Bafana Bafana against Guinea-Bissau on Saturday‚ a spokesman told Times Media Digital on Wednesday.
The department’s spokesman, Mayihlome Tshwete, said it is establishing the facts and what documentation Mokotjo has‚ or needs‚ to be sure of his South African citizenship ahead of Saturday’s friendly international at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Tshwete said Mokotjo’s case is being given priority and can be fast-tracked if necessary‚ and that the department will do what it can within the law. "We’re just trying to make sure that everything is in order in terms of his citizenship‚" Tshwete said. "So we need to verify a number of things — the question of the dual citizenship form in the Netherlands‚ the question of the application for retention [of citizenship from SA’s department of home affairs], and ... the question of re-application for citizenship."
Mokotjo received Dutch citizenship last year. The Netherlands requires new citizens to renounce their previous citizenship‚ rather than having dual citizenship. It appears the FC Twente midfielder‚ based in Holland for seven years‚ also may not have applied to home affairs to retain‚ or re-apply for‚ his SA citizenship.
"He wouldn’t be the first sports person to have complications around his documents resolved quickly for the interests of the country. It can be prioritised, but we will make sure it is done within the law‚" Tshwete stressed. "But also‚ given the nature of these kinds of documents — there are not that many South Africans who re-apply for citizenship or apply for retention — so there is not a long queue to jump. So ideally we would give the South African Football Association a way forward by [Thursday]."
Home affairs has also investigated exceptions to the Dutch rule if a new citizen moved to the Netherlands when they were under 18. Mokotjo‚ though‚ was 18 years and four months old when he moved from SuperSport United to Feyenoord in August 2009.
Mokotjo has five caps for Bafana. The midfielder declared himself unavailable for call-ups in April last year having had a fallout with then-coach Shakes Mashaba.
TMG Digital/TMG Sport