Ex-South Africa striker Mpho Maleka offers wise counsel to Tshegofatso Mabasa after Bafana Bafana snub

The former Swallows forward has given words of encouragement to the Pirates star

Former South Africa striker Mpho Maleka has told Orlando Pirates forward Tshegofatso Mabasa not to despair following his exclusion from the Bafana Bafana squad.

PSL top scorer Mabasa was a surprise omission from coach Hugo Broos’ squad despite bagging 16 goals in the league in the just-concluded season.

The snub has elicited mixed reactions from fans and pundits but former Swallows striker Maleka wants Mabasa to use the experience to his advantage rather than allowing it to weigh him down.

‘Some of us take the negatives to motivate us’

“I remember there was a stage where I was a top goal scorer [while playing for Mpumalanga Black Aces]. Second behind me was [Knowledge] Musona from Kaizer Chiefs,” Maleka told FARPost.


“I had about eight goals in 10 games, and that showed consistency. But the national team selector then chose Sthembiso Ngcobo who only had one goal. So, instead of looking down and questioning their decision, I took it as a motivation to keep going.

“It’s very tricky, but on the other hand is very motivating. Some of us take the negatives to motivate us so that we can keep on working.

Mabasa was in terrific form for Swallows and Pirates  

“Focus on yourself and where you are at the club level. Eventually, you will get your chance. Opportunities come in different ways. I am saying this because I know how it feels when you know you have done enough compared to your competitors.”


Mabasa was in terrific form as he scored 10 PSL goals for Pirates after managing seven for Swallows, having returned to the Orlando Stadium in the midseason, and many thought he would be a shoo-in for the Bafana Bafana squad before Hugo Broos’ decision.

The forward had failed to find consistency and opportunities at Pirates before he was loaned out to Sekhukhune United for the 2022-23 season and went out again to Swallows last August but after a good first half of the 2023-24 campaign, the Buccaneers called him back in January.

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.