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Date: 2018-05-14

Bafana Bafana midfielder Andile Jali spent his weekend in a Pretoria police cell, after being arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol in Hatfield, to the east of the city.

Jali, 28, was driving his vehicle with a personalised number plate while accompanied by a male friend when he was arrested on Saturday between 10 pm and midnight.

Metro Police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, flatly refused to confirm or deny the arrest of the football star.

He rather commented saying that the suspect would appear in court soon and that their identity would only be made public at that time.

However, the Pretoria News has it on good authority that Jali is indeed the former Orlando Pirates star referred to in the statement issued by the municipal police department early yesterday, announcing the weekend arrests.

"Drunk driving is one of the major causes of fatal accidents on our roads. Any person found driving while intoxicated will be arrested," Mahamba said.

"We will continue to intensify these drunk driving operations – endangering innocent lives on our roads will not be tolerated. Well done to the officers for the outstanding arrests. No one is above the law."

Mahamba also said that he encourages motorists to find alternative means of transport rather than drinking and driving.

Jali was referred to as Mhlekazi by his teammates in his time at the Soweto giants, previously played for National First Division side Pretoria University before moving on to the Buccanneers in 2009.

He became a fan favourite when playing for Pirates as a midfielder, eventually often compared with club legend Benedict "Tso" Vilakazi, from whom he inherited the number 15 jersey.

Jali was part of the Pirates squad that made history by winning three trophies in one season under Dutch coach Ruud Krol.

He signed for Belgian Pro League team KV Oostende in January 2014 and has since made 100 appearances for the club.

Jali was a member of the South African squad at the 2009 Fifa U20 World Cup in Egypt and made his debut for the senior team a year later.

Jali is rumoured to be on his way back home to the Absa Premier League, with Kaizer Chiefs and 2017/18 champions Mamelodi Sundowns believed to vying for his signature.

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