Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba was fired on Thursday for insulting
top football officials last month, the national association said.
The sacking was expected after heated exchanges between the
66-year-old and South African Football Association (SAFA) president
Danny Jordaan following a World Cup qualifier.
Mashaba refused to accept the touchline congratulations of the
official when South Africa defeated Senegal 2-1 to become co-leaders of a
qualifying group for the 2018 finals in Russia.
Soon after, the coach became embroiled in a verbal slanging match
with Jordaan and Dennis Mumble, chief executive of the national
Mashaba had been angered by public criticism from Jordaan and Mumble
the previous month over the failure of South Africa to qualify for the
2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Charges of gross misconduct, gross insubordination and violation of SAFA communication policy were laid against Mashaba.
The former defender with Soweto-based domestic giants Orlando Pirates was found guilty of all charges.
"Due to the seriousness of the coach’s actions, we had to release our
head coach with immediate effect," said Mumble in a statement.
"We shall immediately institute a search for a new head coach familiar with African football competitions.
"(He) will be expected to continue the quest to qualify for the world’s apex football competition (World Cup).
"It is regrettable that we had to face the events of the past month
at a time when the national team is experiencing a resurgence in its
quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup."
Former South Africa goalkeeper Roger de Sa, who recently quit then
struggling Ajax Cape Town, has been mentioned by the media as a possible
Mozambique-born De Sa guided Pirates into the 2013 CAF Champions League final, which they lost to Al Ahly of Egypt.
Another candidate, if available, would be Mamelodi Sundowns handler and former South Africa striker and coach Pitso Mosimane.
He went one step further than De Sa and steered Sundowns to the CAF
Champions League title this year, beating Zamalek of Egypt in the final.
Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler has also been mentioned in media
speculation along with Uganda handler Milutin Sredojevic and unemployed
former Dutch star Ruud Krol, who enjoyed success with Pirates.
The Mashaba disciplinary hearings lasted five days amid reports that
the coach, reportedly paid R500 000 a month,
was prepared to quit in return for a pay-off.
SAFA posted an annual loss of R40 million this month and wanted to avoid a financial settlement.
A successful coach with national under-age team, Mashaba delivered
mixed results in his latest stint as handler of Bafana Bafana (The
Having led the team to the 2015 Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea
with surprising ease, he was asked by reporters why he needed to take so
many suitcases to the tournament.
"Because we will be in Equatorial Guinea for almost a month as we are
going to win the Cup of Nations, and I need a lot of clothes," was his
South Africa were eliminated after the first round having lost to
Algeria and Ghana and drawn with Senegal despite scoring first in all
His rollercoaster ride continued with failure to make the 2017 Cup of
Nations finals, finishing an embarrassing third behind Mauritania in a
mini-league won by Cameroon.
Bafana fared better in World Cup eliminators, beating Angola home and
away in a knockout tie and, after drawing in Burkina Faso, overcoming
group favourites Senegal in Polokwane.
South Africa, who won the Cup of Nations in 1996, were ranked 12th in Africa and 60th in the world by FIFA Thursday.
Confirmed Bafana Bafana 2017 fixtures:
AFCON 2019 qualifier (March 24-26) - opponents TBC
International friendly on March 28 - opponents TBC
Cape Verde v South Africa - August 28
South Africa v Cape Verde - September 2
South Africa v Burkina Faso - October 2
Senegal v South Africa - November 6
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