Bafana name might stay

2011-03-28 16:58

Johannesburg - The South African national football team might not need a name change after all with the company that holds the trading rights to Bafana Bafana now showing intentions of selling them.

After years of protracted talks, Wayne Smidt, owner of Stanton Woodrush (Pty) Ltd, the company that holds 100 percent of Bafana's trademark rights, on Monday came out and said that he was willing to sit down and negotiate handing over of the name rights to the SA Football Association (Safa).

The Bafana name's commercial rights have been a focal point over the last year, drawing government interest with parliamentary sports portfolio chairman Butana Khompela and Minister of Sports, Fikile Mbalula, going as far as advising Safa to find a new name for the team - amid attempts at halting the financial revenue that goes to Stanton Woodrush instead of the association coffers on sales of Bafana merchandise.

Smidt made millions in royalties from sale of Bafana Bafana clothing in 2009 and 2010 where South Africa hosted the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, respectively.

Wayne's father ran Stanton Woodrush when they registered the name in 1993 at a time when the association's then leadership apparently overlooked trademarking the name because they found it derogatory to refer to a team of men as "boys".

Safa first took Stanton Woodrush to court in 1997 in the hope of removing the company as owners of the name, losing the case and then again in 2003.

"This is the first time I'm coming out with this matter, and we are willing to negotiate," said Smidt.

"We haven't communicated with Safa about the matter, but we are willing to listen to an offer from them."

This turned out to be welcome news for Safa president Kirsten Nematendani who, along with his deputy Danny Jordaan and Safa national executive member Alpha Mchunu, have been placed in charge of finding a new commercial nickname for the side.

With the association celebrating its 20th anniversary since being re-admitted to international football back in 1991, preserving the team's history could prove to be a more viable process than having to start a brand from scratch.

"First we will need to assess the possibilities of getting the rights," said Nematendani.

"It would make sense if there was an understanding in this situation because the matter has long been a discussion."

A Sunday newspaper speculated on a price in the region of R33 million payable to Smidt if he ever were to sell to Safa.

Smidt though was not willing to name his price or give details as to how much he had generated through Bafana branded clothing.

"I don't know about the figure that was speculated in the paper, but I don't want to say anything on it just yet. We will have to wait and see."


  • Gore - 2011-03-28 17:22

    Actually find the new name for the team and this gentleman will fing the true value of the trade mark.Always reaping due to technicality, what a toss!!

  • mupet-killer - 2011-03-28 17:27

    RE-NAME THEM THE 'ALL' BLACKS. pienaar cant even talk, how can he be captain just coz he is our best player? oh and please give us proper tv commentary.

  • markings - 2011-03-28 17:28

    Oh NOOOO! South Africa will never get anywhere as long as they are associated with this stupid name. To have a team name one can be proud of is of primary importance. Who can take 'The boys, the boys' seriously? It is time to man up!

  • chappy - 2011-03-28 17:39

    Yup, I'm also jealous I never though of it in 1993....

  • TshepoTheSniper - 2011-03-28 17:42

    i dont see why the government should negotiate this.... the BAFANA BAFANA brand is a national interest we should just take the name from this company and if they dont like it they must go and jump in the sea..... anything with a national interest e.g. the bafana bafana brand, the mines etc etc should just be seized by government without negotiations....we are the kings here not businesses

      Ginseng - 2011-03-28 18:08

      An economy where business cannot protect its intellectual property will fail. Instead of regurgitating Malema’s nonsensical rhetoric, why not help yourself to some economics books. That way you can provide a thought provoking argument instead of embarrassing yourself on a public forum.

      Mbuso - 2011-03-28 23:30

      i can't agree with more brother...stuff him

      Mike - 2011-03-29 08:05

      "we are the kings here" - sounds a bit as ridiculous as the silly name bafunny-bafunny

      Mike - 2011-03-29 08:12

      @Mbuso - take a running jump at yourself - bozo!

      Virginia - 2011-03-29 15:03

      Tshepo you and your government are no Kings, even your soccer team requires a decent name. Not everyone in this country is a pushover, when government takes over the mines and business you will not have a piece of bread to eat, so do not wish for things that you know nothing about. Black governments do not look after their people, this has been proven over and over in this world.

  • sibs.zihle - 2011-03-28 17:57

    What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet...

  • senior - 2011-03-28 18:32

    The name should be changed. We cannot afford to enrich this company, the money can be used for other social development initiatives. The guys have already became millionares for cashing in on the "ignorance" of the former SAFA administrators. I dont normally agree with name changes that appear to please a few, but this time I think Minister Fikile Mbalula and Butana Kompela are spot on. Out with Bafana Bafana. In with a new name!

  • Rapier - 2011-03-28 18:33

    Bafana Bafana, Proteas, Springboks, Amakroka, Banyana Banyana - not surprised we are all confused about who to support........?

  • garywsmith - 2011-03-28 20:36

    This is absolute rubbish. SAFA stuffed up in 1994. Someone saw an opportunity and grabbed it. What this report doesn't tell you is that this company has been in a partnership with SAFA for many years as a 51% partner. Fikile Mbalula saw an opening for one of his ANC cronies and instructed SAFA to remove the whitey. So to soften him up they talk about finding a new name for Bafana. This idiot SAFA rep admitted on radio this morning that they had not even approached Smidt to negotiate, they would rather do it Mbalula style and "Mbully" him using the media. This why South Africa will go to the dogs!!!!!! The ANC cronies see an opportunity that someone else has made and then muscle in on it. Look at what is happening with the mineral rights.

      Mike - 2011-03-29 08:11

      The most ridiculous thing is that bafunny-bafunny thought they could win the world cup . . and ended up by getting the record for the first host nation to be eliminated in the first round. (giggle!)

      Virginia - 2011-03-29 15:07

      Gaywsmith, you can goon and on, they do not know how to organise for themselves, always having to take what someone else has worked or paid for, if not the government and their officials then their criminals in thie country.Any person that stand side by side with this government is just as ignorant as they are.

  • Phindile - 2011-03-29 09:26

    In Xhosa the mfana means a man(Bafana = men). I dont see why the name should be changed just because in Zulu it means boys( I understand the Smidt vs Safa issue). I was even more disapointed when former pres Mbeki(a Xhosa) hproposed that the name be changed because it was derogatory ..

      African'shtr - 2011-03-30 15:11

      nam that's what surprises me Bafana means a growing man and inkwenkwe its a boy these guys are mad they want a share that's it, because this guy is not making that much from the bafana jersey

  • raspatin - 2011-03-29 12:31

    Wha wha what R33 mil ! No ! no ! Smidt must get R00.00. or hang ! SIES !

  • Tee Ehn - 2011-03-29 13:57

    WTF, there are too many names to choose from. Let the greedy whitey keep his name. SAF must go a road show and get South Afriacns to come with new name, short list various names and we will support them, finish. Take the R33m and invest in development...

  • TAXILA - 2011-03-29 16:39


  • Mabhulwana - 2011-03-29 17:20

    I suggest the name: Spear of the Nation.

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