The Chosen Few, Another Shaky Bafana Bafana Selection

An Under-Fire Gaffer | Shakes Mashaba
An Expectant Nation | South Africa


A collective air of anxiety had spread about the Mzansi football fraternity in the lead up to the Bafana Bafana preliminary squad announcement for the pivotal encounters against Cameroon in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. While we have all grown accustomed to questioning the selections of coach Shakes Mashaba in recent times, with most publications reserving space for that sole purpose whenever a squad is set to be announced; the latest batch of chosen warriors already seem as if they will have a tall task on their hands if they are to take 6 points from a nation that has the quality to turn up and dismantle them, if they don’t step up to the level demanded in such critical times.

Cameroon are undefeated in their 2 games thus far, both 1-nil wins against Mauritania and Gambia showcased their ability to grind out results in close games while keeping the defensive end tight. South Africa, on the other hand, failed to score at home against The Gambia before being blown away 3-1 in Mauritania in a match the entire continent would have bet their houses on them winning. The pressure is now on for Bafana to secure a result away in Limbe before coming home to showcase their quality in front of a packed Durban crowd that will be expecting 3 points and an entertaining performance from the Boys.

Bafana Bafana Preliminary Squad



Name Club Age 2015/16 Stats
Itumeleng Khune Kaizer Chiefs FC 28 13 Games, 12 Conceded, 4 Clean Sheets
Jackson Mabokgwane Mpumalanga Black Aces FC 28 6 Games, 5 Conceeded, 3 Clean Sheets
Darren Keet KV Kortrijk 26 29 Games, 32 Conceded, 10 Clean Sheets



Name Club Position/s Age 2015/16 Stats
Siyabonga Nhlapo BidVest Wits FC RB 27 19 Games, 1 Assist
Thabo Matlaba Orlando Pirates FC RB/LB 28 20 Games, 3 Goals, 1 Assist
Asavela Mbekile Mamelodi Sundowns FC RB/ CB/ DM 29 21 Games, 1 Goal, 2 Assists
Anele Ngcongca ES Troyes AC (On loan) RB/ CB/ LB 28 24 Games
Eric Mathoho Kaizer Chiefs FC CB 26 25 Games, 5 Goals
Rivaldo Coetzee Ajax Cape Town FC CB 19 23 Games
Thulani Hlatshwayo BidVest Wits FC CB / RB 26 21 Games, 3 Goals
Cheslyn Jampies Jomo Cosmos FC LB 26 18 Games, 2 Goals, 1 Assist
Sifiso Hlanti BidVest Wits FC LB 25 5 Games, 1 Goal, 1 Assist



Name Club Position/s Age 2015/16 Stats
Hlompho Kekana Mamelodi Sundowns FC DM 30 27 Games, 7 Goals
Andile Jali KV Oostende DM/ DLP 25 25 Games, 1 Goal
Kamohelo Mokotjo FC Twente DM/ DLP 24 27 Games, 1 Goal, 4 Assists
Jabulani Shongwe BidVest Wits FC AM/ AP (L/R/C) 26 22 Games, 2 Goals
Mpho Makola Orlando Pirates FC AM/ AP (L/R/C) 29 20 Games, 6 Goals, 2 Assists
Thulani Serero AFC Ajax DLP/ AM/ AP (L/R/C) 25 17 Games, 1 Goal
Mandla Masango Randers FC AP (L/R) 26 17 Games, 3 Goals
Themba Zwane Mamelodi Sundowns FC AP (L/R) 26 23 Games, 5 Goals, 2 Assits
William Twala Kaizer Chiefs FC AP (L/R) 26 21 Games, 4 Goals, 1 Assist



Name Club Age 2015/16 Stats
Thamsanqa Gabuza Orlando Pirates FC 28 15 Games, 2 Goals, 2 Assists
Prince Nxumalo Ajax Cape Town 25 17 Games, 11 Goals, 3 Assists
Tokelo Rantie AFC Bournemouth 25 6 Games
Dino Ndlovu Anorthosis Famagusta 26 13 Games, 10 Goals


The forthcoming encounters could be defining for the nation and its gaffer Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, who has had to bear the brunt of great criticism for his failures to get his boys to play at a high level when it truly matters, now is the time to prove doubters wrong once & for all. Some selections may leave us scratching our heads, and the omission of some other names will surely afford us with ample conversation subjects in the days to come, yet the man has made his pick and we will be expecting to see two good performances with 2 positive results that get us the points we need to climb up the table and avoid the embarrassment of not qualifying for Afcon, yet again…


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