22 March 2019 –International assistant referees Athuxolo Madela, Vhahangwele Nembaleni and Baitse Manca will unfortunately be unable to take part in officiating after failing to pass their fitness test at this year’s SAFA’s National referees mid-season workshop currently underway in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

The trio will, however, get a chance after six weeks to re-do the test so they may be eligible for appointments.

In total, ten match officials from Group 1 did not make the cut for entry into the workshop, which started 19 until 23 March.

Group 2 will commence the workshop from 24 – 27 March.

Head of the Referees Department at the South African Football Association (SAFA), Tenda Masikhwa, explained, however, that this was not the end of their match officiating careers.

“In this workshop, we have a total of seven males and three females who did not pass the fitness test, which is a crucial component of match officiating,” said Masikhwa.

“Of the ten individuals, unfortunately we had three who were also serving on the international panel and they will now have to wait until we host another fitness test in order for them to work their way back into the system again.”

Masikhwa added that Nembaleni and Manca’s exclusion was a serious setback because it means a less number of women on the international referees panel, and it is his wish that more females in South Africa begin serving at that level.

“This creates a huge challenge for us and our vision. Just looking at the number of females we have on the international panel leaves me numb. Our numbers are not where we want them to be, we need more females showing interest in this field, so this is a very serious setback for us and for the development of the game,” added Masikhwa.

“And as for the group that did not make it, they will be replaced by our match officials who were serving in the country’s reserve league (the MultiChoice Diski Challenge) – these individuals come up from the Youth Development Programme which was held last year in April in Pretoria.”

The new faces to look out for are:


JOBELA Buhlebendawo                        (North West)

NDZINGO Akho                                     (Western Cape)

SIYENI Nkululeko                                  (Northern Cape)

VELAPI Sicelo                                       (Eastern Cape)

MOKAU Karabo                                     (Limpopo)


Assistant Referees:

MNCWANGO Andile                             (KwaZulu Natal)

BALOYI Cledwin                                   (Limpopo)

KGANYAGO Brian                                (Limpopo)

NONDALA Luyanda                              (Western Cape)