This afternoon, Joel Santana takes charge of the Bafana team which faces Equatorial Guinea, for the last game in South Africa's abortive Nations Cup 2010 qualification campaign.

Despite the coach's dismal record in the qualifiers - played five, won one, drawn one, lost three - he has been given a vote of confidence by the South African Football Association, which is more than can be said for many of his predecessors.

Shakes Mashaba, unlike Santana, is still in with a chance of a ticket to Angola for the 2010 African Nations Cup.

Mashaba, who led the South African Under-23 side to the Sydney Olympics, and later coached Bafana as they qualified for the 2004 Nations Cup, is in charge of Swaziland.

The Swazis take on Togo this afternoon, and a win in Accra, Ghana (Togo are banned from playing home games, after fan trouble at earlier fixtures) will take Mashaba through to the next round of qualifiers.

Finland, who take on Azerbaijan in Helsinki today, surprised Germany with a 3-3 draw in their first qualifying match? under new coach Stuart Baxter, who had been in charge of Bafana as they qualified for the 2006 Nations Cup.

Baxter resigned from the Bafana job before the finals, and Bafana went to Egypt under the tutelage of Ted Dumitru, and came home without a win, draw, goal or point.

Portugal, who face Sweden in Stockholm, also have a former Bafana coach at the helm, in Carlos Queiroz, who took over the reins from Luiz Felipe Scolari earlier this year, after a successful spell as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson, at Manchester United.

Having led Bafana to the 2002 Nations Cup, Queiroz left shortly before the World Cup finals that year, citing an untenable situation over team selection - Queiroz had to coach the team, but Jomo Sono would be picking it for him!

Others who have been in the Bafana hotseat haven't had it quite so good.

South Africa's first coach, Stanley "Screamer" Tshabalala, was sacked after six matches, for punching a journalist, and is now involved at Safa as manager of the development teams, while Augusto Palacios, Bafana coach in 1993, is head of development at Orlando Pirates.

Clive Barker, South Africa's most successful coach ever, quit in 1997, after guiding Bafana to the 1996 Nations Cup title.

He was at the helm when South Africa qualified for the World Cup finals in France in 98, but was forced out of the job before experiencing the honour of leading Bafana to their first ever World Cup tournament.

He is currently in charge at PSL side AmaZulu.

Sono, who has had three stints in charge, including the 2002 World Cup finals, saw his side, Cosmos, relegated from the PSL last season.

Phillipe Troussier, who left Bafana after the 1998 World Cup, went on to coach Japan, Qatar, Olympique Marseille and Morocco. His last job was at Japanese Third Division outfit FC Ryuku, which he left in March this year.

Trott Moloto, who took over Bafana from Troussier, is now coach at Mamelodi Sundowns, where he is apparently at loggerheads with Dumitru, who is now Sundowns' technical director.

Carlos Alberto Parreira, who stepped aside earlier this year, and recommended Santana for the job, is currently in Brazil, and don't be surprised if the local Federation call on him to take over the national team, if current coach Dunga gets the axe. And what of Styles Phumo, who coached the side at the 2004 Nations Cup?

Sensible man - retired from football to take up farming!