FORMER Rangers midfielder Bongani Zungu has denied that he and four of his Ibrox team-mates attended a party during lockdown earlier this year.

Zungu, Nathan Patterson, Brian Kinnear, Calvin Bassey and Dapo Mebude - branded the 'Covid Five' - were banned for six matches last season for attending an illegal gathering in February, effectively bringing the on-loan South African midfielder's Rangers career to a close.

Speaking to media in his homeland, Zungu admitted he visited Bassey's home during lockdown - but insisted that the gathering was not a party.

"I want to give my version of what happened when the media said I went to a party," he told Soccer Laduma.

"You know how hard it was for me to arrive there and not see anyone except my team-mates for about six months?

"I was going to training, the game then home and repeating it over and over.

"When I got into trouble, I didn’t mean for that to happen.

"I went to Calvin Bassey’s home and I thought that was safe because we test all the time at the club.

"I was shocked people said there was a party.

"I took a picture with someone there, but the whole thing was blown out of proportion, especially in South Africa.

"Now everyone thinks I didn’t stay at Rangers because of that. But people’s opinions don’t bother me."

Continuing, Zungu argued that the real reason his loan spell was not made permanent was because his parent club, Amiens, were holding out for a bigger transfer fee.

"My experience there wasn’t great on the pitch yes, but the team was winning," he added.

"I had to understand that Steven Gerrard can’t just change the winning formula.

"Rangers paid a loan fee, obviously, which showed the coach was really interested.

"But to make it permanent became too expensive."