South Africa’s AFCON 96 Winners: Where Are the Triumphant Squad Members Now?

South Africa’s AFCON 96 Winners: Where Are the Triumphant Squad Members Now?

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at January 3, 2024 at 11:07 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
  • South Africa won their only AFCON title on debut at home in 1996
  • Bafana Bafana were captained by Kaizer Chiefs legend, Neil Tovey
  • Nelson Mandela famously lifted the cu[ in another unifying gesture

The conquerors of 1996 will remain the benchmark until their feat is matched.

South Africa's debut Africa Cup of Nations squad continues to play a pivotal role in the country's football and occupies a special corner of the community's consciousness.

The full squad contributed to their knockout wins against Algeria, Ghana, and Tunisia but those who played in the final have elevated status.

South Africa, Bafana Bafana, AFCON 96, Nelson Mandela, Neil Tovey.
South Africa lifted the AFCON trophy at the first time of asking in 1996 but have yet to repeat the feat. Photo: Gallo Images.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief looks at where the now mythic players are after their outstanding careers, numbered according to what they wore in the final.

South Africa's 1996 AFCON winning team

1. Andre Arendse

The goalkeeper currently works for SuperSport as an occasional television pundit and also serves on Gavin Hunt's Technical team at SuperSport United.

2. Sizwe Motaung

The right-back unfortunately passed away due to illness just five years after lifting the trophy. He made 49 appearances for South Africa before passing at age 31, with successful spells in Switzerland and Spain.

5. Mark Fish

The central defender who played a part in South Africa's opening goal against Tunisia in the final now runs The Mark Fish Foundation. The football-focused social upliftment project aims to improve the lives of impoverished South Africans

9. Niel Tovey

Captain Fantastic survived a heart attack in 2016 before taking the role of SAFA Technical Director. He has had short spells in management but spends most of his time as a motivational speaker.

4. Lucas Radebe

A leader on and off the pitch, Radebe is passionate about restoring South Africa to Africa's top tier. He has been widely linked with a run at the SAFA Presidency, which will hold their next election in 2026.

15. Doctor Khumalo

The man who provided the assist for Mark Williams' second goal against Tunisia. Khumalo also serves as a football analyst and TV broadcaster while managing South Africa's under-17 side.

21. Eric Tinkler

The most prominent of his former teammates in the dugout, Tinkler is carving a reputation as a capable head coach. He currently has Cape Town City sitting second on the DStv Premiership log.

8. Linda Buthelezi

'Mercedes Benz' now works as an agent and administrator. He came off for Helman Mkhalele (19) early in the second half of the final, with 'Midnight Express' currently Hugo Broos' number two.

10. John Moshoeu

One of the most beloved players of his generation, 'Shoes' was struck down by stomach cancer in 2015, aged 49. He made over 600 career caps, including 73 for his country, scoring eight goals.

17. Shaun Bartlett

Bartlett followed many of his 1996 teammates into coaching. He most recently earned promotion with Cape Town Spurs but was sacked after an unsuccessful start to the DStv Premiership. His teammate, Tinkler questioned where that was the right move by Spurs, as per iDiskiTimes.

6. Phil Masinga

Philemon Raul Masinga is another member of the squad who sadly lost their battle with cancer. The Leeds United legend came off for Mark Williams (11) who scored twice in the space of three minutes to send a single-tiered FNB Stadium into rapture. Williams is now an author and motivational speaker.

Coach - Clive Barker

The airplane-loving coach succumbed to Lewy Body Dementia in June 2023 at the age of 78. The Mail and Guardian published a statement made by captain Tovey when thinking back on Barker's AFCON triumph, saying:

"He was open to listening to our concerns, he encouraged these conversations and more. We had fun together, we joked and when it was time to raise issues, not only the captain spoke, the whole team contributed."

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Hugo Broos announces AFCON squad

Sports Brief recently reported on Broos' selection of 23 South Africans to challenge for the AFCON title.

Broos made his announcement from Belgium, where he had returned for the festive season to see family.

The Bafana Bafana squad will arrive in Cape Town on January 5 before flying to Ivory Coast on January 10.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.