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Mashaba named Bafana coach

Bafana

Johannesburg – South African coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba has been appointed head coach of Bafana Bafana, the SA Football Association (Safa) announced on Saturday.

"As we speak Shakes Mashaba is the senior national team's coach," Safa president Danny Jordaan told reporters at Safa House in Nasrec, Soweto. "We ask for patience from the public and the media. Let us watch Shakes grow into this role."

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KEMPTON PARK, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 23, National Under-23 coach Shakes Mashaba during the South African U23 farewell greeting at the Holiday Inn Garden Court on November 23, 2011 in Kempton Park, South Africa. The team will participate in the inaugural CAF U23 Championships. Photo by Lee Warren / Gallo Images

Mashaba, 63, replaces outgoing boss Gordon Igesund, whose contract, which runs until the end of August, has not been renewed.

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.

Mashaba did not attend the Safa announcement on Saturday because he was with the South African men's under-20 team on a tour of West Africa. The team 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 Safa's national executive committee'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."

Mbalula congratulated the new coach, who he said was coming back for a "second bite". – Sapa

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