Smanga Kumalo- President Jacob Zuma has wished Bafana Bafana well as they lock horns with Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarter-final on Saturday evening . Bafana and Mali will be fighting to get the spot for semi-final at Moses Mabhida in KwaZulu-Natal.
In a statement on Friday, Zuma, who was also a soccer player, told the Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund, Bongani Khumalo the team captain and the entire Bafana Bafana team that the entire country is fully behind them and supporting them all the way.
He said, “As South Africans we have full confidence in their ability to go further. They must play tomorrow’s game with pride, passion and respect so that they can walk away from that field holding their heads high no matter the outcome.”
He also thanked South Africans for the support they had shown in the national soccer team.
Bafana demonstrated their ability to rise to the occasion in their 2-2 draw against Morocco in the Afcon group stage last week.
A-26-year-old-Bafana striker Lehlohonolo Majoro who missed South Africa’s final group A encounter against Morocco on Sunday, which ended 2-2, due to a shin injury is expected to play some role in their quarter-final against the Malians.
Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane also wished them luck. She said she hoped Bafana would raise the South African flag higher by lifting the African masterpiece trophy.
This weekend’s game will be the first time South Africa are playing in the knockout stages of the continental showpiece in 11 years. Mali are rated third in Africa and 25th in the world, well ahead of the hosts, who are lying 21st in the continental list and a lowly 85th in the global rankings.