By Sibusiso Masilela
Eight sports personalities have managed to win themselves a seat in the next Parliament after winning in the national secondary elections held on Friday.
While eight of the sports personalities won, six more bit the dust in the different constituencies, leaving the sports fraternity with a bitter-sweet feeling after the gruelling election exercise which ended in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Some of the victorious candidates include Mbabane Highlanders and Moneni Pirates legend Nhlanhla ‘Madida’ Mabuza who is new Member of Parliament (MP) for Ntondozi Inkhundla.
The former winger managed to beat several candidates including Eswatini Sports and Recreation Council (ESRC) Business Development Manager Zama Tsabedze.
Another football personality who will be part of the next parliament including Seven Dreams President Bishop Bhekibandla Vilakati who is the new Ngwempisi MP and former Malanti Chiefs coach Raymond Dlamini who is the new MP for Ntfonjeni Inkhundla.
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Former Eswatini Football Association (EFA) executive member Sikhumbuzo Dlamini was elected as Nkwene MP. Eswatini Broadcasting Information and Services (EBIS) Sports Commentator Nathi ‘Mdockies’ Hlophe won under Mtfongwaneni Inkhundla and former Matsapha United Co-Director Victor Malambe won under Mhlangatane Inkhundla.
It was a case of so close yet so far for other football administrators such as two EFA vice Presidents Steve Horton and Mashumi Shongwe. The two did not make it within their respective constituencies Manzini North and Shiselweni II where they were vying for the hot seats.
EFA executive member and Hhohho Regional Football Association (HRFA) Chairman Dr Comfort Shongwe also lost out under Nkomiyahlaba Inkhundla. Tambankulu Callies Boss Sithembiso ‘Ngudze’ Mamba also lost out at Gilgal Inkhundla while Eswatini Sports and Recreation Council (ESRC) board Chairman and former Mbabane Highlanders Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Celucolo ‘Dino’ Dlamini lost out under Kukhanyeni Inkhundla to former 2010 world Cup local organisation Committee Secretary Apollo Maphalala.
Maphalala also managed to beat Manzini Wanderers legend Mancoba Mahlindza who was among the nominees under Kukhanyeni.
Other unsuccessful sports administrators include current Eswatini Boxing Association (EBA) President Webster Lukhele who bit the dust under Manzini North.