Orlando Pirates Buthelezi

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Melusi Buthelezi. Image: Instagram.

Good news: Kidnapped Pirates player returns home

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Melusi Buthelezi was hijacked and taken hostage in Thokoza, Gauteng last night. The player is now safe.

Orlando Pirates Buthelezi

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Melusi Buthelezi. Image: Instagram.

Eish, another Pirates player was hijacked and kidnapped last night.

First it was Vincent Pule in July 2022, before it was Buthelezi on Thursday night.


As previously reported on Friday morning, the Nquthu-born star was targetted Gauteng.

The Intelligence Bureau SA reported the hijacking on Friday morning. It is said that Buthelezi was also taken hostage.

The report did not reveal the time the incident occurred and whether the 25-year-old player had been found.


Meanwhile, Pirates have confirmed the player’s safety.

Speaking to Soccer Laduma on Friday, the club’s media officer, Thandi Merafe, said Buthelezi is safe and in recovery.

“Yes, it is true[the hijacking]. “Our keeper was involved in a hijacking last night, the player is safe and unscathed,” Merafe said.

“As a club, we kindly request that he is given space to recover from this traumatic ordeal,” the Pirates official concluded.


Buthelezi becomes the second victim from the Pirates team. Pule was hijacked in Johannesburg in July 2022.

The Qwa-Qwa-born player was put in the boot of his car before he was dumped in the middle of the night in Soweto.

“Initially, I was sitting in the back seat, but they moved me to the boot. I was in the boot for about five to six hours, and they left me in the woods in Soweto at about 1am,” Pule told TimesLIVE in October 2023.

“If it doesn’t happen to you, who else would you point to say it must happen to them? I think these things happen, it’s a sad moment it could happen to anyone.

“I had to make sure that I recovered from it, speak to someone to make sure that this thing gets away to make sure that you do rehab and make sure that you come back inside the field.

“So if you’re not strong enough if you don’t believe that you’re going to come back, if you don’t believe that these things do come to pass, I think you’re going to have a problem,” the 31-year-old Pirates attacker added.

“So for me, it was making sure that I become stronger because this moment makes you believe that these things, they do come and pass.

“So you just have to make sure that your head is in the right space to make sure that you do recovery, you do rehab so that you can make sure that you get back inside the field,” Pule concluded.

In the meantime, Pirates are travelling to Limpopo today. The Sea Robbers take on Polokwane City in the DStv Premiership on Saturday at 15:30.