Zola Mahobe (born in 1954) was a legendary South African soccer philanthropist and businessman. He was the founding father of present-day Mamelodi Sundowns and transformed the football club into the elite of the first division.

His days in the spotlight were short-lived after following stealing allegations. He burst into the South African football scene, flashing a fat cheque book and marking the start of soccer sugar daddies.

Zola Mahobe
Quick Facts
Full Name:Zola Mahobe
Born:1954 (age 59 years old)
Place of Birth:Sophiatown
Nationality:South Africa
Partner:Tebello “Snowy” Moshoeshoe
Occupation:Businessman, football director and philanthropist
Affiliated to:Mamelodi Sundowns

Early Life

Zola Mahobe was born in 1954 in Sophiatown, South Africa. He went to school in Meadowlands.


Mahobe managed his businesses – butcheries and a travel agency- from offices in Eloff Street, Johannesburg. His contributions to Mamelodi Sundowns made it a major brand.

The soccer team is from the colored area of Marabastad in Pretoria. Under the ownership of Motsiri Itsweng and Bonnie Sebotshane, they experienced a boost in the 80s and moved to Mamelodi.

In 1983, the team won promotion to the topflight but struggled for survival until Mahobe became a director. He later bought the club at the age of 31 and appointed the flamboyant Screamer Tshabalala as coach.

Zola started transforming the football club after he brought the striker Mike Mangena in early 1986. Later, another talented player Mike Ntombela joined his club from Wits.

After a few months, Mahobe swapped to get the talented Andries Chitja from Moroka Swallows. He exchanged Salter for flying fullback Trevor Klein.

In 1986, Zola, the entire team, and their partners flew to London to watch the FA Cup final. He supported Orlando Pirates as a young boy, so he extended his benevolence to the team as they struggled near the foot of the table.

Sundowns continued with their winning spree in 1987 until Mahobe’s arrest for fraud destabilized the team.

Personal Life

Zola Mahobe met with Tebello “Snowy” Moshoeshoe, and they became lovers. Together, they executed one of the biggest crimes in the history of Standard bank.

Mahobe convinced his lover Moshoeshoe to quit his nursing job for job at Standard Bank. He started to experience growth in his business.

Zola lived a champagne-filled luxury and enjoyed coiffured hair, sharp suits, overseas travel, cars, and more.

Stealing Allegations

Working at Standard Bank, his mistress deposited R10 million in various fictitious accounts. She continued for over three years, and Mahobe gained massive wealth.

For five years, Moshoeshoe had passed credit transfer forms without substantiating cheques. She deposited them into Mahobe’s accounts.

These made her create false credit balances, which were offset by a debit through interbank transactions. She helped Zola to squander over R10,000,000. Later, people nicknamed him Mauser. 

After the bank discovered their scheme, Zola Mahobe got arrested in Botswana. In 1989, the court pronounced an effective sixteen-year sentence on Mahobe and a ten-year sentence on Moshoeshoe.

In 2010, Miss Moshoeshoe died from cancer. After Mahobe’s release, he appeared at football matches occasionally. He died in 2013 at the age of 59. In October 2022, NB Publishers released a book, “The Legend of Zola Mahobe and the Mamelodi Sundowns Story“.