Zebras’ skipper and goal poacher Mogakolodi Ngele’s application for a permanent residence permit in South Africa is reportedly going according to plan with the star midfielder expected to be furnished with papers this week.
Ngele missed Mamelodi Sundowns first few games of the 2017/18 season due to pending residence permit but is expected to return to play next week.
The development will witness the lanky midfielder featuring for the club as a non foreigner as he would be holding South African identity documents.
Reports from South Africa indicate that Ngele would be available for selection in their next league match against Ajax Cape Town.
The game, which was to be played Tuesday has however been postponed due to Sundowns commitment in the CAF champions’ league. Sundowns will face Tunisian Wydad A.C in the quarter finals.
After moving to neighbouring South Africa in 2012, Ngele is eligible for the South African residence permit by virtue of having been employed in the country for five consecutive years as per requirements of the South African Home Affairs.
The former Uniao Flamenco Santos prodigy has exercised his choice to acquire the permit as he seeks to get more playing time in the South African Premier League.
The South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) rules allow a club to have a maximum of five foreign players per season while those with permanent residence permit are registered as locals.
Ngele’s residence permit was influenced by the full quota of Sundowns foreign players, thus formulating a plan that will accommodate foreign players in their books.
Sundowns has used all their foreign players’ quota for the season, having registered five foreigners in the likes of Ivorian duo of Yannick Zakri and Bangally Soumaharo, Ghanaian goalkeeper Brimah Razak, Colombian Leornado Castro as well as Burundian Fiston Abdul Razak who returned back from loan at Bloemfontein Celtics.
The Botswana national follows on the footsteps of other Sundowns’ players, in the form of Zimbabwean Khama Billiat, Ugandan Denis Onyango, Liberian Anthony Laffor and Zambian Kennedy Mweene who are now plying their trade in the PSL as non foreigners after acquiring the South African permanent residence.
He will also not be the first Motswana to apply for such, with former Zebras players Mogogi Gabonamong and Diphetogo Selolwane having done the same whilst still playing in the EPL so as to to be registered as locals.
Ngele signed for Platinum Stars in 2012 from Township Rollers before moving to the home of the African champions in Chloorkop in 2014.
He however spent a season on loan to ABSA Premiership 2016/17 champions Bidvest Wits before returning to Sundowns at the end of last season.
Despite being issued with South African permanent residence permit, Ngele will keep the Botswana passport and will continue to represent the Zebras for international duty.