The South African Football Association (SAFA) has joined millions of South Africans in mourning the passing on of former Bafana Bafana coach Ted Dumitru.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has joined millions of South Africans in mourning the passing on of former Bafana Bafana coach Ted Dumitru.

The Romania-born Dumitru passed away on Thursday, 26 May after collapsing at a shopping mall in Johannesburg.

The paramedics tried to resuscitate him but to no avail.

He was 76.

SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan said Ted Dumitru was a ‘true giant’ of South African football.

“This is a very, very sad day in the history of our game. Despite his small frame, Ted was a giant of South African football and his incisive assessment to football matters earned him respect among football fans.

“He was articulate about the game, called a spade a spade and worked within every sector of the game from development, club to national team level including technical areas with the Association. At the time of his untimely death, he was an active member of the SAFA Technical Committee. May his soul rest in peace,” said Dr Jordaan.

Ted Dumitru had a close working relationship with former Mamelodi Sundowns owner Anastasia Tsichlas when he coached the Pretoria side in the late 90s. The two joined forces again when Ted was called to serve on the SAFA Technical Committee where Tsichlas is the current chairperson.

Tsichlas says she was gutted by Ted’s untimely passing on describing the death as a great loss to South African football.

“This is a massive loss to the entire nation. He was very passionate about the game and never one to hold back his opinions. Ted left a legacy behind – the South African philosophy document. He won a lot of trophies in a glittering career as a coach,” said Ms. Tsichlas.

“Ted took Sundowns to the final of the CAF Champions League, he served in the SAFA Technical Committee and I was looking forward to meeting up with him next week for our regular committee meetings, unfortunately it won’t happen.

He had so many wise things to say about the game. Ted was indeed the professor of football – a title he earned for his immense knowledge of the game of football. May God grant him eternal rest, and I know I am not speaking for myself only when I say we are all going to miss him and his ideas. May his family and football family be comforted during these difficult times.”

Dumitru started his coaching career back in his native Romania in 1964 with a club called Universitatea Craiova. Locally he has coached all the big guns of South African Football – Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.

In the process he won many trophies – the league title, MTN 8, Nedbank Cup, Telkom Charity Cup, Rothmans Cup and the Telkom Knockout.

He has also been at helm of several national teams – South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia and Zambia.

Personal Information:

Full Name: Theodore Dumitru

Date of Birth: 2 September 1939 (age 76)

Place of Birth: Bucharest, Romania


Years Team
1964 – 66 Universitatea Craiova
1967 – 68 Romania u23
1969 – 70 Altay Izmir
1970 – 71 Besiktas
1971 – 72 Mersin Idmanyurdu
1974 – 75 Rochester Lancers
1976 – 80 New York Apollo
1980 – 82 Zambia
1983 – 84 Swaziland
1985 – 88 Kaizer Chiefs
1997 – 99 Mamelodi Sundowns
1999 – 2000 Orlando Pirates
2000 Manning Rangers
2000 – 01 Namibia
2001 – 02 Mamelodi Sundowns
2003 – 05 Kaizer Chiefs
2005 – 06 South Africa


Kaizer Chiefs

  • South African Premier League (2): 2003–04, 2004–05
  • MTN 8 (2): 1985, 1987
  • Telkom Knockout (4): 1986, 1988, 2003, 2004
  • Nedbank Cup (1): 1987
  • Telkom Charity Cup (4): 1986, 1987, 1988, 2003

Mamelodi Sundowns

  • South African Premier League (2): 1997–98, 1998–99
  • Nedbank Cup (1): 1998
  • Rothmans Cup (1): 1999
  • CAF Champions League Runner-up (1): 2001

Orlando Pirates

  • MTN 8 (1): 2000