Controversial former University of the Witwatersrand SRC president Mcebo Dlamini was denied bail in .
"Eish, tough one indeed. It is the 'group of death'."
This was the reaction of Serame Letsoaka, assistant coach of the South African under-23 side after, the Beijing Olympics group stages draw in Zurich this week.
South Africa was paired in group A with west African neighbours, the 1996 champions Nigeria and Ghana. Ethiopia is also in the group.
"We have to play against giants to be the best, there are no qualms and we have to go and play to the best of our ability.
"We need to start doing research on them," said Letsoaka, whose side beat Botswana 2-0 on Sunday to qualify for the All Africa Games in Algeria in July.
Steve Komphela, South Africa's coach, said they will use the All Africa Games to sharpen the team for the group stages.
South Africa starts their group stages campaign against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on the weekend of June 2 and 3, followed by Nigeria at home on August 22.
The next one will be away to Ghana at home and away on September 7 and 9 and October 12 and 13 respectively, then host Ethiopia on November 16 and 18 and Nigeria on March 26.
"I will be meeting with Steve soon to start planning for the group stages," said Barney Kujane, the team's project manager.
"We have to finish on top and qualify this time around.
"The rules are clear that it is only the group winners who qualify for the finals."