Mashaba: We won for Mandela
Shakes Mashaba (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Following the country’s mourning period and their COSAFA Cup triumph in Lesotho last weekend, national Under-20 head coach Shakes Mashaba said the boys had to win the tournament at all cost to honour the late former president, Nelson Mandela
, who died two weeks ago.
The anti-Apartheid icon died peacefully in his Houghton home in the company of his family on December 5, aged 95.
Amajita defeated Kenya 2-0 in the final match at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru on Saturday afternoon.
At the time of Mandela’s death, Amajita were already in Lesotho and Mashaba hinted that the announcement of his passing dampened the spirit of his players but the Lesotho government organised a special memorial service for Madiba
just to console them.
“The announcement came three days after we arrived in Lesotho and it really dampened the boys’ spirit but all we had to do was to accept that it was his time to go,” Mashaba told Sport24
“The Lesotho government organised a special memorial service for them in remembrance of the old man just to keep them focused.
“I told the boys that we need to pay back Madiba
for all his great work he did for the country by winning the tournament and we had an agreement that we will win it at all cost of which we did in the end.”
The former Bafana Bafana mentor revealed that he sees their victory in Lesotho as a symbol of an end of the Mandela era in the country and a start to a new journey under the leadership of Danny Jordaan
at the South African Football Association (SAFA).
The 63-year-old tactician is optimistic that their win will bring more football honours to the country, including the Under-23 team and the senior national team.
“It should happen like that.
“The tournament was an end of the previous era and this is the beginning of a new one under the leadership of Dr Danny Jordaan
“We need to keep the legacy of the old man alive, as he wished our country to prosper in every aspect, whether it’s politics, sports, etc.
“We need to be a powerhouse of Africa again and I believe the Under-20 team have opened the doors for all our teams,” he added.