Bafana Bafana’s revolving door has struck again, and the latest casualty is Stuart Baxter, who might have been given a nudge on his way to stepping out on his own accord.
The Englishman had been on the job a little over two years, and had until after the 2022 Fifa World Cup before his contract was set to expire.
However, he cut his tenure short, just after leading the team to a respectable last-eight finish in the Africa Nations Cup (Afcon) in Egypt.
Baxter becomes the fourth permanent coach to vacate the post since the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and yet another one who did not last much further beyond the two-year mark.
In this period, Safa have also appointed two caretaker coaches.
We take a look at the men who have sipped from the poison chalice since South Africa hosted the global spectacle over nine years ago.
Pitso Mosimane: Bafana coach 2010-2012
After serving as caretaker coach, then assistant to both Carlos Alberto Pareira and Joel Santana, Pitso Mosimane took over from the former after South Africa had hosted the Fifa World Cup in 2010.
He had signed a four-year contract, but only served half of it as his tenure came to an embarrassing end, as his charges celebrated a draw believing they had qualified for the 2012 Afcon tournament when, in actual fact, they needed victory to go through.
Steve Komphela: 2012 (caretaker)
After Jingles’ departure, Safa turned to Bafana’s first ever captain, Steve Komphela, who was in charge for only two matches as caretaker coach.
Gordon Igesund: 2012-2014
The next big appointment was that of Gordon Igesund, who was one of the most decorated local coaches, having won the local league with four different teams.
Igesund was fresh from receiving the PSL Coach of the Season award after guiding Moroka Swallows to a second-place finish in the league, and was handed a two-year contract.
Under his leadership, Bafana failed to qualify for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, and he departed after his contract wasn’t renewed.
Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba: 2014-2016
Shakes Mashaba had been in charge of Bafana Bafana before, but was sacked on the eve of the team’s departure to the 2004 Afcon tournament in Tunisia.
He was brought back for a second stint as Igesund’s successor in 2014.
Mashaba’s most recent tenure was an indifferent one compared to his first, and he was again sacked after an altercation with the Safa top brass just minutes after Bafana had beaten Senegal in a World Cup qualifier.
Owen da Gama: 2017 (caretaker)
Highlands Park head coach Owen da Gama took charge of Bafana for one match – a friendly against Mozambique – while Safa were in the process of appointing a permanent successor for Mashaba.
Stuart Baxter: 2017-2019
As was the case in 2004, Stuart Baxter was called upon as a permanent replacement for Mashaba. This was on the back of a successful return to the country a few years prior, and helping Kaizer Chiefs to a fifth league title, before securing back-to-back Nedbank Cup titles with Supersport United.
However, Baxter could not lead the national team to a spot in the 2018 Fifa World Cup, but would soon redeem himself by qualifying unbeaten for the 2019 Afcon tournament in Egypt.
After leading Bafana to a quarterfinal finish in the finals, he called it quits on Friday, 2 August.