Bafana coach search won’t falter

Sacked Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba’s looming threat to challenge his dismissal by the South African Football Association (Safa) is not likely to stop the search for his replacement.

Safa boss Dennis Mumble said yesterday that while they would follow whatever the law ordered them to do‚ there was nothing to suggest that the search to find a new Bafana coach would not officially begin in the coming days.

Mumble said they were comfortable in the knowledge that they had followed all the proper channels during the disciplinary hearing that led to Mashaba’s dismissal from his R500 000-a-month job last month.

“We have a watertight case that we are 200% sure we cannot lose‚” Mumble said. “We went through a meticulous process to make sure that all the parties were represented fairly [during the disciplinary hearing].

“The process was run by an independent chairperson [advocate TT Serero] and we even bent over backwards when we could not get hold of him [Mashaba] before the hearing.

“And when we finally got hold of him on another phone‚ he asked for a postponement and we granted him that. That ticks off the fairness column.”

Mashaba’s legal representatives – BBM Law – said on Tuesday they were taking the case to the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and they believed they had a strong case.

Mashaba – who was found guilty of several charges‚ including gross misconduct and insubordination – now apparently wants to be reinstated as he believes he was dismissed unfairly. And should he not be reinstated‚ he wants to be paid out the remainder of a contract that was to run until next year’s World Cup.

Claudio Bollo, of BBM Law, reaffirmed this stance yesterday and said they had communicated their intention to take Mashaba’s case to the CCMA through a letter they say they have sent to Safa.

Bollo said given that Bafana had no games until March‚ they had asked Safa not to rush to appoint a new coach as they were in the process of filing papers to the CCMA in the coming days.

“All we are saying is do not rush to appoint someone new when this could make things difficult if the coach [Mashaba] is proven right‚” Bollo said. But Mumble‚ who is still on leave in the Eastern Cape‚ said he was yet to receive this letter from Bollo.

Mashaba’s well-documented skirmishes with the media also contributed to his sacking. While he was suspended on November 13‚ his disciplinary hearing only got under way last month after the coach himself requested more time to study the charges against him.

Safa made sure that not only did they afford him all the time he needed to prepare for his case‚ they also followed the disciplinary processes to the letter in case he elected to pursue the matter further after his dismissal.

Bafana’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers are not expected to be threatened by the pending legal battle between the two parties as they resume in September with back-to-back home and away games against the Cape Verde Islands.