/ 24 June 2011

Safa to fork out R5-million for Bafana name

The South African Football Association (Safa) will pay R5-million for the trademark to the national team’s nickname, Bafana Bafana.

After an 18-year battle with Stanton Woodrush — which owns the Bafana Bafana trademark for apparel, headwear and footwear — Safa announced on Friday it would buy the full rights to the name.

Safa, which had considered changing the team’s nickname, said it would pay the R5-million fee over a 12-month period.

The national football governing body entered into a joint venture company in 2005 with Stanton Woodrush — which bought the Bafana Bafana trademark in 1993 — called Safa Licensing and Management (Slam).

The football body owned 50.5% of Slam, which controlled the trademark, and Stanton Woodrush owner Wayne Smidt held the other 49.5%.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula had thrown his weight behind the idea to change the team’s nickname, a globally known trademark, rather than buy the rights.

Mbalula said the side needed a stronger name than Bafana Bafana, which means “the boys” in Zulu.

In March, Safa said a three-man panel — president Kirsten Nematandani, vice-president Danny Jordaan and Safa executive member Alpha Mchunu — would look in to a possible name change. — Sapa