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Jul 26, 2014

South Africa rehires Ephraim Mashaba

Shakes Mashaba is back as coach of South Africa, 10 years after getting sacked.

South Africa have appointed Ephraim Mashaba as their new coach once again.

Mashaba, nicknamed "Shakes," took charge of the national team on a caretaker basis in 1992 and 2001 and was a permanent coach from August 2002 until January 2004.

While he left that post acrimoniously, the South African Football Association has no qualms in bringing the experienced coach back into the fold to replace Gordon Igesund, whose contract expired last month.

"First of all, I would like to thank the SAFA NEC for the confidence that they have demonstrated in me. This is a massive but exciting test. I am elated and ready for the challenge," said Mashaba on SAFA's official website.

"I will do all my best to bring back the winning mentality within Bafana Bafana. With the support of all South Africans, the goal of taking Bafana Bafana back to the top is very achievable.

"The good thing about this job is that I have a clear idea of what I need to do but will first meet the SAFA leadership to agree additional performance terms. I will also take the opportunity to meet all the stakeholders and address the media on the way forward."

Mashaba has most recently been taking charge of the South Africa under-20s and hopes he will be allowed to continue leading them through the qualifiers for the African Youth Championships.

The 63-year-old, who has also coached the Swaziland national team, was sacked as the Bafana Bafana coach 10 years ago -- the day the team were due to fly to the African Nations Cup finals -- because of an alleged breach of contract.

But he is now back and it is hoped he will be able to transform the country's fortunes.

SAFA president Dr Danny Jordaan said: "He has a proven record, is a hard worker and he fulfilled all requirements we were looking for to drive our senior national team back to where we all believe they belong -- at the top."

South Africa are ranked 66th in the world and did not qualify for this year's World Cup in Brazil after failing to top their group in the second round stage, with minnows Ethiopia finishing above them.

It was announced last month Igesund's contract would not be renewed and although there were several high-profile contenders, including Frank Rijkaard and Dick Advocaat, SAFA once more put its faith in Mashaba.

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