Orlando Pirates have lifted the lid on their worst-kept secret – the signing of Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and Namibian international Deon Hotto from the now-defunct Bidvest Wits.
Both players have long been linked with the Buccaneers, with reports linking them with a move to the club leaking to the public soon after the announcement of the sale of the Wits franchise.
Orlando Pirates confirm new signings
On Monday, the Soweto giants finally announced the acquisition of the two highly-rated players.
According to Pirates’ official website, the duo signed long-term deals with the club.
“We are pleased to welcome Thulani [Hlatshwayo] and Deon [Hotto] to the Club. These are two players who have a proven pedigree both at club and international level and we are confident that they will complement the team that we have assembled,” Orlando Pirates chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza is quoted on the site.
“I must thank all those who were involved in the negotiations.”
Dr Irvin Khoza
Buccaneers finally get their man
Pirates’ interest in Hlatshwayo has long been documented, while Hotto’s appeal to the club became apparent after sterling performances in his last few seasons in the colours of Bidvest Wits.
In announcing the signings, the club finally admitted to its long pursuit of the national skipper.
“The Buccaneers have finally secured the signature of Hlatshwayo – a long-sought-target of the club, while in Hotto, the club has bagged one of the most consistent performers in the Premier Soccer League over the past few seasons.”
Hlatshwayo came up the ranks of the highly-vaunted Ajax Cape Town youth academy, making his senior debut with the club before his move to Wits in 2014.
The past season saw him play in all but four of the Johannesburg-based outfit’s league matches, finding the net four times.
Hotto, on the other hand, has netted 11 times for Wits in the past two seasons, also providing 18 assists.