3 October 2019 – Next month Bafana Bafana begin the long road of qualifying for the Total 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon with crucial matches against Ghana and Sudan.

But before then, in preparation for those fixtures, South Africa will play Mali in an international friendly match in the Nelson Mandela Challenge scheduled for next weekend (Sunday, 13 November 2021) in Port Elizabeth.

This will be new head Molefi Ntseki’s first official match at the helm of the South African Senior Men’s National Team.

“We had a training last month where we were supposed to play a match, but it is now history as to what happened. We are now looking forward to the clash against Mali, who are no pushovers. Our training camp starts this weekend and I just can’t wait to get on with the job because last time out we could not carry out our duties but I am positive this time around, things will work out,” said Ntseki.

“This being my first match as the head coach of Bafana Bafana, this is a special period for me and a great honour to start my Bafana Bafana career with a competition associated with one of the greatest statesmen to have ever lived – Nelson Mandela. I also believe it is the same for the entire squad, for SAFA and the country.”

The former South African U-17 Men’s National Team coach says the clash against Mali will give a clear indication of what is needed to be done when the AFCON qualifiers kick-off.

“Our mission is clear – we want our team to be ready when we face Ghana and Sudan, and for us to achieve that, we have to show it in the clash against Mali, we can’t wait for November. A good showing in Port Elizabeth will lift the confidence of the team when we travel to Ghana, which makes the Mali match all-important,” added Ntseki.

“I urge fans to come in their numbers to not just show support for Bafana Bafana on the day, but also to get behind this initiative where the proceeds will go to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital,” added Ntseki.

Bafana Bafana assemble for camp on Sunday, 6 November in Johannesburg and travel to Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, 8 November.

Kickoff against Mali is at 15h00.

Tickets for the match are already on sale and can be purchased from Computicket outlets as well as at Shoprite and Checkers stores – they are R40 for adults, and R20 for children under the age of 12.

  • The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will be the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations
  • The biennial international men’s football championship of Africa is organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF)
  • The tournament will be hosted by Cameroon
  • It will be played in June 2021
  • Algeria are the defending champions after winning the 2019 edition in Egypt in July.


2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge

1. Darren KEET OH Leuven FC (Belgium)
2. Ronwen WILLIAM Supersport United FC (SA)
3. Brandon PETERSEN Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
4. Erick MATHOHO Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
5. Buhle MKHWANAZI Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
6. Thulani HLATSHWAYO (C) Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
7. Thapelo MORENA Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
8. Thamsanqa MKHIZE Cape Town City FC (SA)
9. Innocent MAELA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
10. MOSA LEBUSA Mamelodi Sundowns (SA)
11. Kamohelo MOKOTJO Brentfort FC (England)
12. Thato MOKEKE Cape Town City FC (SA)
13. Dean FURMAN Supersport United FC (SA)
14. Lebohang PHIRI Guingamp FC (France)
15. Bongani ZUNGU Amiens FC (France)
16. THEMBA ZWANE Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
17. Thembinkosi LORCH Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
18. Percy TAU Club Brugge FC (Belgium)
19. Thulani SERERO Al Jazira FC (Abu Dhabi)
20. Keagan DOLLY Montpellier FC (France)
21. Lebo MOTHIBA Strasbourg FC (France)
22. Bradley GROBLER Supersport United FC (SA)
23. Kermit ERASMUS Cape Town City FC (SA)