Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
TROUBLED Highlanders FC midfielder, Denzel Khumalo, was briefly detained at Bulawayo Central Police Station yesterday for allegedly teaming up with a colleague to axe a BMW vehicle and slash its tyres outside a city nightspot on Saturday night.
The 21-year-old Khumalo, who was in the company of teammate Brian Banda and unnamed friends, allegedly slashed two tyres of the car belonging to a Highlanders supporter identified as Sidumisile Ntini.
Khumalo’s friend, who is at large, allegedly used an axe to smash two windows on the car, while Khumalo allegedly stabbed the tyres with a knife.
According to Ntini, Khumalo arrived at the nightspot visibly drunk and patrons asked the player and his teammate to leave the bar.
“They arrived at the bar drunk and people told them to go. BB (Banda) was the sober one of the two and tried to reason with Denzel who clearly wanted to fight. Some Highlanders supporters told them that the two were not welcome at the pub because they are playing badly and there was nothing to celebrate. That seemed to irk Denzel and he began hurling insults and fought with a club marshal. He was saying the Highlanders marshal wanted to get him fired by Bosso.
“As we were about to leave, Denzel returned in a speeding Honda Fit with a guy who was skidding while wielding an axe. The guy broke two of my BMW windows, while Denzel slashed the tyres,” said Ntini.
After committing the horrendous offence, Ntini said, Khumalo and his friends disappeared from the scene.
A group of Bosso supporters, known as “Team Away”, teamed up yesterday and effected a citizen’s arrest on Khumalo and delivered him to the police.
Khumalo, who is not new to controversy, denied the charges which were being levelled against him and identified the person who axed the car as Sitshela.
He went AWOL from Highlanders camp in June for more than three weeks; with some saying he was trying to force a move out of the club.
Last month he had an altercation with the team’s welfare manager, Vezigama Dlodlo, after being fined for turning up for training in a different uniform.
Khumalo was also involved in a car accident last month, with allegations that he ran away from the scene.
Yesterday, Dlodlo was spotted at Bulawayo Central Police Station but declined to comment on Khumalo’s arrest.
Banda denied being involved in the scuffle.
“I wasn’t there when the said vehicle was attacked. Of course, there was an altercation between Denzel and some guy who owes him money. I restrained Denzel and we left the club. I was surprised to hear that there was a fight and a car was damaged,” said Banda.
Repeated efforts to get comment from Khumalo were fruitless.
The police could also not be reached for comment.