Fifa World Cup: Where are Bafana’s ‘class of 2010’ members?

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Siphiwe Tshabalala, (middle), celebrates with his Bafana team-mates after his wonder goal gave South a lead in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup against Mexico at FNB Stadium on June 11. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Siphiwe Tshabalala, (middle), celebrates with his Bafana team-mates after his wonder goal gave South a lead in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup against Mexico at FNB Stadium on June 11. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images


Only three members of Bafana Bafana’s 2010 World Cup squad were still active this past season – Bernard Parker and Itumeleng Khune at Kaizer Chiefs, as well as Tsepo Masilela at AmaZulu.

With Parker and Masilela having been released by their respective clubs recently, and Khune currently embarking on a goalkeeper coaching course, this could signal the end of an era for the “class of 2010”.

In fact, Khune had a reunion with his 2010 understudies, Moeneeb Josephs and Shuaib Walters, at a Fifa/Safa goalkeeper coaching course in Johannesburg this week. 

Bafana Bafana team in 2010. Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Most of the 2010 squad players have retired, but where are they now?


Itumeleng Khune

Khune, who turns 35 on June 20, this week set off a debate on whether the goalkeeper coaching course he attended signalled the end of his playing days or if he’s simply preparing for life after the game.

The battled-scarred keeper survived a massive clear-out at Chiefs, meaning that Amakhosi could have spared him for one last hurrah, which would set a record 19th season with the Glamour Boy.

READ:  Itumeleng Khune responds to lack of game time at Kaizer Chiefs with two words

In the 2010 World Cup, the Chiefs shot-stopper kept goal in Bafana’s first two group matches against Mexico and Uruguay. However, he was sent off against Uruguay when he tripped striker Luis Suárez inside the penalty area, which resulted into a penalty that set the south Americans to a 3-0 win on a cold night at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Moeneeb Josephs

Now 42, Josephs played the last 10 minutes of Bafana’s 3-0 defeat to Uruguay after Khune’s red card.

“Slim Kat”, as he is affectionately called, also kept goal in Bafana’s 2-1 win over France in the final group game, but South Africa still crashed out of the tournament in the first round – the first host nation in World Cup history to be eliminated at the group stage.

After his retirement three years ago, Josephs took up a goalkeeper coaching job at AmaZulu. The charismatic former Orlando Pirates keeper was among the staff and players released by AmaZulu a fortnight ago.

Shu-Aib Walters

The closest Walters got to the 2010 action was when he deputised for Josephs in Bafana’s final group match group against France. A surprise World Cup call-up for then Maritzburg United goalminder, Walters hung up his gloves aged 38 after a stint with Ajax Cape Town three years ago. 

South African players look on in disbelief as goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is sent off during Bafana’s World Cup group game against Uruguay at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on June 16 2010.PHOTO: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

He currently runs his own Shuaib Walters Goalkeeper Academy in Johannesburg, which nurtures young keepers.


Siboniso Gaxa

“Pa”, as Gaxa is known to his peers, played in Bafana’s opening two matches but was left on the bench in favour of Anele Ngcongca at right-back, for South Africa’s final group game against France. Gaxa was in the books of Mamelodi Sundowns then.

Gaxa obtained a degree in political science and social studies from Wits University in 2019, a year after he hung up his boots.

Now part of Johannesburg brand marketing firm Brand Arc, Gaxa (38) is studying law on the side.

Aaron Mokoena

Bafana captain at the time, Mokoena played every minute of the team’s futile World Cup campaign alongside Bongani Khumalo in central defence. Mokoena was then in the books of English Premiership side Portsmouth.

A Bafana record appearance holder with 107 caps, he retired in 2013 and turned to coaching. His first and last gig as a tactician in the elite ranks was with Cape Town City two seasons ago where he was assistant to Dutch coach Jan Olde Riekerink.

When he suddenly ditched coaching, the 41-year-old Mokoena said he would focus on his Aaron Mokoena Football Academy. He said was also busy with a Uefa Executive Master for International Players course, which would take him two years to complete.

Matthew Booth

Booth did not play a minute in 2010 as coach Carlos Alberto Parreira preferred the central pairing of Mokoena and Khumalo ahead of the then Mamelodi Sundowns defender.

June 19 will mark eight years since Booth (45) retired from professional football. He last played for the now-defunct Bidvest Wits and these days he is a football analyst on pay-TV channel SuperSport.

Lucas Thwala

Thwala, then an Orlando Pirates player, started at left-back in Bafana’s opening game against Mexico. However, he got injured and Masilela stepped into that role.

Sadly, Thwala, who was known for his discipline and courage despite an injury-ravaged career, was forced to retire in 2013 because of an ankle injury. Since he hung up his boots, the 40-year-old became an aerobics instructor in his home town of Mbombela in Mpumalanga.

Tsepo Masilela

Chester, as Masilela is known to his team-mates, got his chance when Twala could not return in the second half of Bafana’s drawn fixure against Mexico.

Twelve years ago, Masilela was one of Bafana’s six overseas-based who made the World Cup squad. He was plying his trade for Maccabi Haifa in Israel. The 37-year-old has just been released by AmaZulu after nearly three seasons at the Durban-based club.

Bongani Khumalo

Khumalo played every minute of Bafana’s campaign and netted the opening goal in South Africa’s 2-1 win over France in Bloemfontein, Free State, on June 22 2010.

READ:  Bongani Khumalo: ‘I’m not a footballer any more’

The 35-year-old retired two seasons ago and he is now fully involved with Universal Safety Products, a mask-manufacturing company that he co-owns with childhood friends and former school mates.

Siyabonga Sangweni

Having played for two professional clubs in his career – Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows – Sangweni was one of the unused substitutes in 2010.

Like Thwala, he was forced to quit the game due to injury. At a press conference in April 2016, Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza announced that the defender had been advised by the doctors to retire. Sangweni was involved with coaching at amateur level back home in KwaZulu-Natal.

Anele Ngcongca

The youngest in the team at 22, Ngcongca was playing for Genk in Belgium at time. He got a rare start against France, but he couldn’t finish the game due to an injury and he was replaced by Thwala.

Sadly, Ngcongca died in a car accident in November 2020 when he was on his way to join AmaZulu on loan from Sundowns.


Siphiwe Tshabalala

Tshabalala was thrust into the global spotlight by his thunderous goal in the opening game of the World Cup against Mexico. Since then, he not only became one of the most recognised players in the country, but “Shabba” is one of the most marketable players locally.

Tshabalala (37, has not played professional club football since he was released by AmaZulu last August, following the expiry of his contract. He is yet to announce if he’s officially retired or not.

The Chiefs legend holds a number of ambassadorial roles.

Tshabalala also runs an upmarket restaurant in Soweto called ShaYe (a combination of Shabba and Yeye), which he co-established with former Chiefs team-mate and bosom buddy, Reneilwe “Yeye” Letsholonyane.

Steven Pienaar

Pienaar started all three of Bafana matches but he could not complete the opening two. He was sacrificed in the game against Uruguay to make way for goalkeeper Josephs after Khune was red-carded.

Schillo, as the talented midfielder is known, was playing for Everton in the England in 2010. He retired in 2018 and immediately embarked on coaching courses. A Uefa A and Pro License holder, the 40-year-old is the head coach of the Ajax Amsterdam’s Under-18 team since his promotion as assistant in December last year.

Teko Modise

Another popular figure and one of coach Parreira’s trusted players during the World Cup, Modise featured in all the matches, coming on a second half substitute in the final group game against France.

Modise hung up his boots at the end of the 2018/19 season following a two-year stint with Cape Town City.

In September last year, the stylish former midfielder was hired by his former side, Sundowns, as the club’s brand ambassador. The 38-year-old also works as an analyst for SuperSport.

Reneilwe Letsholonyane

“Yeye” started in Bafana’s two opening matches against Mexico and Uruguay but was left on the bench against France.

Letsholonyane retired two seasons ago aged 39, and immediately took up coaching courses and he is now a qualified coach.

Like his buddy and business partner Siphiwe Tshabalala, Letsholonyane has also cashed in on his popularity, serving as an ambassador for various brands.

Thanduyise Khuboni

Then Golden Arrows defensive midfielder Khuboni was among the surprise inclusions in the 2010 squad. He started in the game against France but later made way for Modise.

Khuboni, now 36, last played in the elite ranks for the now-defunct Highlands Park in the 2016/17 season. He resurfaced in the NFD at Uthongathi FC two years ago when the KwaZulu-Natal outfit signed him alongside veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe.

Nicknamed Gonondo, he was until recently playing for KwaZulu-Natal’s ABC Motsepe League side GWP Friends FC.

Kagisho Dikgacoi

Dikgacoi featured regularly for the team in central defence but his two yellow cards from the opening two matches meant that he missed Bafana’s final group match against France.

Following his retirement in 2017, the Golden Arrows legend, now 37, ventured into business and co-founded sports apparel brand, International Sports Apparel Design Institute, which used to be the technical sponsor of the Malawi national team.

Macbeth Sibaya

Sibaya came in for the suspended Dikgacoi and the then Rubin Kazan anchorman played a full game against France having started on the bench in the team’s opening group matches.

Sibaya retired in 2013 and went into coaching. The 44-year-old is guiding the KwaZulu-Natal Football Academy Under-19 team since his appointment in February last year. He started coaching in the youth structures of SuperSport United.

Surprise Moriri

Moriri made an odd appearance as a substitute against Uruguay.

Since his retirement in 2017, the Sundowns legend is coaching the club’s Diski Challenge team.

Lance Davids

The former Ajax Cape Town did not get a run in the tournament due to stiff competition for places in Bafana’s central defence.

Davids retired in 2015 and City Press could not establish his whereabouts or what he’s up to these days.


Katlego Mphela

Mphela was the team’s leading striker in 2010 and he played every minute of Bafana’s campaign. “Killer” scored the winner against France. The 37-year-old last played on the professional ranks for Royal Eagles in the NFD in 2017 and only announced his retirement two years later.

Like most of his retired colleagues, Mphela does ambassadorial duties, notably as one of the legends that promote the MTN8 tournament.

Bernard Parker

Parker made two appearances, against Mexico as a substitute and stared gainst France but was late replaced. At the time, he was playing for FC Twente in Dutch Eredivisie.

The 36-year-old has just been released by Chiefs as his contracts ends this month. This could mark the end of an era for the seasoned striker who constantly divided opinion in the decade he had turned out for Amakhosi.

Siyabonga Nomvethe

After Booth (33 at the time), Nomvethe (32) was the second oldest squad member of the 2010 squad. Nomvethe made a cameo appearance against France.

Remarkably, Bhele, as Nomvethe is known, played competitively until he was 42 when the NFD side Uthongathi FC yanked him out of retirement in December 2019.

He is now AmaZulu assistant coach since he was recruited by the club’s former coach Benni McCarthy two years ago.

Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira

Like most of his charges from 2010, Parreira has retired. The iconic Brazilian coach turned 79 in February.

While his stint with Bafana did not yield the desired results, Parreira is best remembered for guiding five national teams at six World Cups – Kuwait in 1982, the United Arab Emirates in 1990, Brazil in 1994 and 2006, Saudi Arabia in 1998 and South Africa in 2010. He won the 1994 edition with Brazil. 


Daniel Mothowagae 

Deputy sports editor

+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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