South Africa Football Association, yesterday named local coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba as new manager of the Bafana Bafana, thus ending all speculations concerning coach Stephen Keshi.
In the middle of the 2014 World Cup campaign, Keshi had sounded a warning that he could be heading for South Africa if the Nigeria Football Federation failed to offer him an improved contract.
Mashaba who is making a second coming to the job is presently in charge of the under-20 team. He said that he was honoured and humbled to have been appointed head coach of Bafana Bafana for a second time in his career.
“My first work would be to thank Mr Jordaan as well as the entire national executive. Words fail me. I’m sure I won’t disappoint,” Mashaba said.
“I will pull out all the stops to make sure that our people become part and parcel of our national team. The only way to do that is by bringing results.”
Mashaba did not attend the announcement because he was with the South African men’s under-20 team on a tour of West Africa, but he was contacted by Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble seconds after the announcement.
Mashaba spoke to the media from Mali by way of Mumble’s loud-speaker on his mobile phone.
Mashaba, 63, replaces outgoing boss Gordon Igesund, whose contract, which runs until the end of August, has not been renewed.
Jordaan explained that the national executive committee (NEC), who was tasked with making the final decision regarding the national coach, made a unanimous decision to appoint the highly-rated local coach.
“Everyone spoke in support of the national executive,” Jordaan said.
“We eventually had a list of 16 people who indicated their interest in taking this job. Ultimately that list was submitted to our technical team.
“We asked them to reduce the list to a short-list of names to be placed before the NEC, for the NEC to take a final decision. They placed before the NEC two names… that of Carlos Queiroz and Shakes Mashaba.