Zondeki is one of only five black African cricketers so far to have represented South Africa in official test cricket. The others are fellow fast-bowlers, Makhaya Ntini, Victor Mpitsang and Mfuneko Ngam, as well as wicketkeeper/batsman Thami Tsolekile. He was born in King Williams Town on 27 July 1982. He studied briefly at Treetops (Lusaka, Zambia) and St Christopher’s Primary, but learned his trade over ten years at Dale College in King Williams Town, before making his first-class debut for Border against New Zealand in 2000/2001. His 12-year career, spanned over 200 top-flight games, including six tests, 13 other international appearances and 91 games for the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras.
Zondeki took altogether 164 wickets for the Cobras, and ended up with 269 in first-class cricket and 119 in the limited-formats. He dismissed Marvin Atapattu with his first ball in international ODI cricket in Bloemfontein in 2002 and his best test bowling figures for South Africa were 6-39 against Zimbabwe in 2004/05. He also took 6-37 for SA A in a limited overs game against Sri Lanka in 2003/04. His best season was in 2007/08 when he captured 62 wickets in 11 first-class games, an achievement which saw him named one of South Africa’s five Cricketers of the Year. He took 54 of these wickets for the Cobras and this tally remains a record for the franchise in a season.
On the batting side, he and Gary Kirsten share the eighth wicket partnership record of 150 for South Africa. This was when he scored 59 against England at Leeds in his debut test.
Asked to comment, Monde Zondeki said, “It’s been a good innings for me, though at times frustrating because of the injuries, and I look forward to remaining involved and giving back to the game in future. I owe the different provinces I have played for and my team mates over the years a special word of thanks”. Zondeki will stay on as a temporary member of the administrative staff at the Cobras while he plans his future path, which includes further studies, the development of his budding career as a SuperSport television commentator, work experience with World Sport in the leisure industry and an advanced CSA level 3 coaching course.
Beresford Williams, Chairman of Western Cape Cricket, thanked Zondeki for his contribution to cricket and wished him well for the future. “Monde is talented young man who has made a major contribution to the Cobras and South Africa on the playing field up to now, and we are confident he has an important role to play off the field as well in future”.