BAFANA Bafana's all-time leading goal-scorer Benni McCarthy has apologised to the nation and Safa for his past indiscretions.
The Blackburn Rovers forward said he had now started a new chapter with Bafana and was eager to help them do well in the Fifa World Cup.
McCarthy had a running battle with Safa and at one stage threatened not to play for Bafana again until then Safa vice-president Mubarak Mahomed had apologised to him.
This was after Mahomed had criticised McCarthy for Bafana's ill-fated Afcon in Egypt in 2006. McCarthy was fingered as a ring leader who encouraged players to demand "exorbitant" appearance fees at the continental showpiece.
McCarthy, who has rattled the net 31 times, yesterday said: "Let bygones be bygones. In the past I was a loose cannon."
He told a media briefing in Johannesburg: "I was young then, but I'm older now and want to apologise if I was wrong. I want to start afresh."
Asked if Safa had apologised to him McCarthy said: "There is no person who is bigger than the country. The most important thing now is to help Bafana do well in the World Cup and go all the way in the tournament."
McCarthy was talking to the media ahead of the match against Japan on Saturday in Port Elizabeth. He returns to Bafana from exile imposed by former Bafana coach Joel Santana.
McCarthy, who is highly impressed with the current Bafana squad, said he was heartbroken when Santana did not select him for the Confederations Cup in South Africa in June.
"I was suffering from a hamstring injury and did not play enough games for my club (Blackburn Rovers).
"I was heartbroken because such a big tournament was taking place in my country. I had no problem with coach Santana. We used to speak regularly on the phone," he said.
McCarthy said he would not let South Africans down if coach Carlos Alberto Parreira gave him a run against Japan and Jamaica. He said he would do what he knows best - score goals.
"I am still the best at what I do, and that is scoring goals," he bragged. "I have this gift of scoring goals. Unlike other players, I need only one touch to score.
"I'm not like other players who get five or six chances only to score one goal. I have watched every Bafana match and I could tell that they lacked experience.
"They need somebody like me to stick the ball into the back of the net. This is probably why I have been called back - to provide the goals.
"This is a good Bafana squad, we just have to start scoring goals," McCarthy added.