Pretoria - Sport and recreation minister Fikile Mbalula believes Shakes Mashaba’s glory with Bafana Bafana was a result of his tactics of selecting players based on a current form at their respective clubs instead of using a players’ history as a selection method.Mashaba guided Bafana to the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be staged in Equatorial Guinea. Mbalula hailed Bafana Bafana’s progress under Shakes Mashaba by backing the national team to shine in the upcoming continental showpiece. "Bra Shakes (Mashaba) did a fantastic job with our senior national team," Mbalula told Sport24 in an exclusive interview."I believe that something that is working for him is that he doesn’t select players based on favouritism. "He always selects players on merit not based on the players’ history. "This is something which the previous coaches failed to do."Mashaba and his charges finished the 2015 AFCON qualifying campaign undefeated as they topped Group A, and Mbalula believes that South Africa will do well in the tournament. "Our current team is full of hungry and ambitious players who are dedicated to fight for their country."They are now on a right track and I have no doubt that they will do well in the AFCON next year."The experience of the Pirates players from last year’s CAF Champions league will be valuable as well. "Like they (Pirates) did well last year and I was with them in Egypt when they lost to Al Ahly in the final. "Otherwise I believe our boys will make us proud next year."Bafana will participate in an AFCON tournament away from home for the first time since 2008 in Ghana. The four week tournament is set to kick-off in January.