South Africa hosted the African Cup of nations in 1996 and won it for the first time, thanks to the legendary class of 1996 players who made Mzansi proud. The 1996 Africa cup of Nations remains South Africa’s biggest trophy at the national level. Many teams and generations have since come and gone, but no team has been better than the class of 1996. The country celebrated with their heroes, but as time passed, many forgot where the national football heroes were. Here is a look at the first team players and where they are 25 years later. Some of them have passed away but some are doing well.
Andre Arendse – Goalkeeper
Arendse won the Africa cup of Nations as the first-choice shot-stopper. He left club football in 2013 while playing for Bidvest Wits. Andre is now working as an assistant and goalkeeper coach and Supersport United. He has also been a co-presenter with Supersport.
First team defenders of the class of 1996 national team that won the Africa Cup of Nations
Sizwe Motaung – Right back
The flying right-back, Sizwe cemented his place in the national team after top-class club performances at Mamelodi Sundowns. Unfortunately, Motaung died from an AIDS-related disease in his home in Newcastle on 16 August 2001 at 31.
Lucas Radebe – Centre back
The former Leeds United captain made sure to lead the back line during the AFCON, and he was solid. After hanging his boots, Lucas Radebe faced a few disappointments, especially when he waited for a position in the Bafana Bafana 2010 technical team. It seemed that he was failing to land a big job in the coaching side of football. However, Lucas had been a pundit on several stations, including the 2010 World Cup. He is also a FIFA Ambassador for all SOS Chldren’s villages.
Mark Fish – Centre back, Unlike many of his teammates, Fish went silent after hanging his boots. He is there being a family man who keeps his business private.
Neil Robert Tovey – Left back – Captain
After hanging the boots, the man who lifted the trophy for South Africa went straight into management. He coached several clubs before he joined the 2010 squad as Technical Director, the position he currently holds.
The Midfielders of the class of 1996 national team that won the Africa Cup of Nations
After he retired from football, Eric Tinkler went into management. The Bafana Bafana legendary winger coached several clubs, including Orlando Pirates and Chippa United, until his current role at Cape Town City. In the midfield also was Linda Buthelezi, who did not get any top job after retirement. He had been a pundit here and there but had been keeping his business private.
In the midfield was also Doctor Khumalo, who had been clear of his intentions after his retirement. Despite being coached in his early days, he openly spoke of his wish to be a football Director. To his desire, Doctor is now the Technical Director of Boroka. Aside from football, Doctor also tried acting but did not hit the ground. Lastly, John Moshoeu completed the midfield four. It seemed that John had nothing in his mind after hanging his boots but to enjoy himself. He bought many luxury cars, and he wanted them before his death in April 2015.
The strikers of the class of 1996 national team that won the Africa Cup of Nations
Mark Williams led the line and scored eight goals for the national team. After retiring from football, Mark had been involved in lower levels of football in Mzansi. Currently, he is an agent for young players. Completing the team was Helman Mkhalele, who scored eight goals for the National team as well. Mkhalele got a job as a facilitator at KBC Health and Safety Company. He owns a furniture business. He acquired a teacher’s diploma at Soweto College. He is the current National under 20 coach football team.