Johannesburg – South African coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba says he is 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.”
SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan announced Mashaba's appointment at a packed Safa House on Saturday afternoon, ending weeks of speculation about the future of the national team.
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.
“The NEC debated this matter this morning and confirmed that the senior national team coach for Bafana Bafana for the period, 2014 to 2018, is Mr Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba.”
The Soweto-born mentor is no stranger on the local scene, having previously held the Bafana position in 2002, before he was appointed head coach of the Swaziland national team four years later.
Saturday's announcement means Mashaba leaves his role as national under-20 and under-23 coach.
The under-20 side was scheduled to play an international friendly against Mali in Bamako on Saturday.
Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, who attended the announcement, said he was delighted with the NEC's decision.
“Finally this matter had been laid to rest,” he said.
“We support the decision of the new coach. We are rebuilding the giant which is football. We are a winning nation, but you can't win with nothing.” – Sapa