Nearly three months into the job, Bafana coach still has no contract

Molefi Ntseki has been in charge of Bafana Bafana for three matches but is yet to be officially contracted to the position.
Molefi Ntseki has been in charge of Bafana Bafana for three matches but is yet to be officially contracted to the position.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Molefi Ntseki was appointed in August to replace the coach he had been assistant to, Stuart Baxter, as Bafana Bafana head coach until the Qatar World Cup in 2022. But he remains on his old Safa contract, dating back to when he coached the national under-17 team.

Ntseki’s agent Thato Matuka will meet with new South African Football Association (Safa) acting CEO Gay Mokoena on Thursday to try to resolve his contract impasse.

The reasons for this, said Matuka, include some sticking points on a proposed Safa contract, as well as Russell Paul's departure as the association’s acting CEO at the beginning of November. Mokoena replaced Paul, who took a job as COO of the Qatar World Cup.

“Obviously he [Mokoena] was appointed, and we had a subsequent appointment the following week regarding the contract,” Matuka told TimesLIVE.

"Bafana Bafana went into camp for the friendly matches against Zambia and Madagascar that were called off [in September], and Safa asked that Molefi oversee those games before the contract issue be resolved.

“The long and short of it was we then had a discussion with the then-CEO Russell Paul. Safa offered a contract and there were a few things that we had issues with, and we made, let’s say, a counter-offer on those points. These were substantial points, in the interests of our client. We consulted attorneys.

"They came back at us in a meeting, and we pushed back again towards Russell, but he then informed us that he would be leaving the post.

“Then Safa also wanted Molefi to concentrate on the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Ghana and Sudan [this month].”

Ntseki has been in charge of three Bafana matches. After the Zambia and Madagascar friendlies were called off, the opposition pulling out in response to waves of xenophobic attacks in SA at the time, Bafana beat Mali 1-0 in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Port Elizabeth in October.

This month SA began their 2021 Nations Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 away defeat against Ghana, then beat Sudan 1-0 at Orlando Stadium.

Mokoena, who became Safa's acting CEO at the beginning of November, was approached for comment by SMS but did not respond at the time of publication.