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'Society the cause of Pule's ills' 02/04/04
The root of Jabu Pules ills lies in South African society at large, according to Kaizer Chiefs coach Ted Dumitru.

Pule was recently suspended by the club for one month after disappearing on the eve of a crunch Absa Cup game against Sundowns at the end of February.

The diminutive ball wizard, and firm fan favourite, has a long history of behavioral problems including drug addiction, alcoholism and the abduction of a minor as well as disappearing without trace numerous times over the years.

Chiefs have always welcomed the 23-year-old back with loving arms, showering him with support and giving him guidance as he has attempted to beat his demons.

This has opened them up to criticism from many, who, after Pules umpteenth misdemeanor, urged the club to dispense of his services.

Dumitru, a father figure to Pule, looks deeper for an understanding of what motivates the Bafana Bafana international.

Speaking to the Cape Times on Friday, Dumitru said: Jabu is not a trendsetter, but more of a follower of whats going wrong in society in general.

I inherited the problem and it would be very easy to say we should get rid of the boy.

But the bigger picture is the countrys failure to do something constructive about social ills.

He continues: I think something needs to be done at government level. Theres got to be structures in place to support young people like Jabu.

Im a firm believer that prevention remains far better than falling over ones feet for a cure.

But once something has fallen prey to some scourge, everything possible has to be done to help him.

Pules suspension ended on March 29.

While Dumitru has vowed to ease the player back into action, many of the Chiefs faithful are hoping Shuffle is thrown right back into the thick of things this weekend when Amakhosi clash with bitter rivals Ajax Cape Town in the Absa Cup in Mmbatho.

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