Having made a good impression in his performances for South Africa in the 2010 World Cup in his home country, Spurs made an early move to take the SuperSport United defender on trial and then agree to sign him in the January 2011 transfer window.
The strapping central defender, who can also play right back, was brought over to test him out against the Spurs players in training and he stood up to the challenge, with Spurs persuading their sporting partner club to release him for a fee of £1.5 million.
Bongani could have been playing in the Premier League much earlier, as he was with Arcadia Shepherds in the Milk Cup tournament in Northern Ireland, where he was spotted by Chelsea and Manchester United as a 16 year old, but his mother made sure he completed his exams before taking up a career in football. In fact, he was still undertaking his studies when his club won the South African title in 2007, with his degree examinations after the season ended.
With three consecutive league titles lead to the SuperSport United captain's inclusion in the South Africa squad for the World Cup in their own country and he was an ever-present as his country went out in the group stages, but not before beating France 2-1, with Khumalo scoring one of the goals.
Looked like he was not going to be in the frame when he went out on loan to Preston North End (where he got injured), Reading (where he didn't get many games), then for the season to Greek side AEK Athens in 2012-13 before going out to Doncaster Rovers for the following campaign. Returned to Spurs and had a knee operation, settling for a place as a mentor to younger players in the Under-21 side before being offered the chance to go on loan until the end of the season with League One Colchester United.