Bafana Bafana top goal scorers in history

Bafana Bafana top goal scorers in history
Credit: Icon Sport

Bafana Bafana will be in Ivory Coast in January 2024 to contest for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title.

Despite a routine route to the tournament, things have not been easy for the South African national team at times.

One issue that has bedevilled the team is a lack of goals.

There were worrying signs when Bafana Bafana drew 2-2 with the Lone Star of Liberia in an AFCON qualifier in South Africa.

Bafana Bafana have a goal average of about two goals. Throughout the qualifiers, they have not managed more than two goals a game.

With the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign due to start in November, Bafana Bafana is wondering where the goals will come from if they’re to qualify for the Mundial.

In a recent friendly, the South African team played out a 0-0 draw with Namibia, with their problem made worse by having arch-rivals the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the same group.

While coach Hugo Broos ponders where the goals will come from for his side, let us look at the all-time top scorers for Bafana Bafana.

Bafana Bafana top goal scorers

11 – Teko Modise (10)

Bafana Bafana star Teko Modise
Credit: Icon Sport

Teko Tsholofelo Modise is a popular name within the Bafana Bafana set-up. The General or Techno M spent plenty of his career at Mamelodi Sundowns.

He also played for SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates. He featured for the South African national team 66 times and scored 10 goals.

10 – Delron Buckley (10)

Buckley played most of his club career in Germany.

He featured for clubs like VFL Bochum, Borussia Dortmund, Mainz and Karlsruher SC.

He made his international debut for South Africa in a friendly against Zambia in May 1998. He also appeared for South Africa at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2004 African Nations Cup.

9 – Siphiwe Tshabalala (12)

Bafana Bafana star Siphiwe Tshabalala
Photo by Icon sport

Internationally acclaimed Tshabalala is a name not easily forgotten in Africa.

In case you’re wondering why he’s that popular, Tshabalala scored the opening goal of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Mexico in the 55th minute.

It was a fantastic goal that saw the FNB Stadium erupt into wild celebrations. Tshabalala scored 12 goals for Bafana Bafana.

Most of Tshabalala’s goals were in friendly matches.

8 – Tokelo Rantie (12)

Rantie made his senior national team debut for the South African national soccer team in June 2012 in a friendly game against Gabon.

The former Bournemouth, Gençlerbirliği, Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns forward scored 12 goals for South Africa.

He scored his first South Africa goal in a 3-0 win over Gabon in 2012.

7 – Sibusiso Zuma (13)

The former Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United forward scored 13 goals from 66 appearances for Bafana Bafana.

6 – Percy Tau (13)

Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau
Credit: Icon Sport

Percy Tau plays for Al Ahly in Egypt. He has also played for Mamelodi Sundowns, Brighton and Hove (England) and Anderlecht.

He made his debut for South Africa in October 2015 in a 0–2 loss to Angola in a 2016 African Nations Championship qualification match.

The forward scored his first goal for Bafana Bafana in a 3-1 friendly game against Guinea Bissau.

He also scored against the Super Eagles in a 2-0 win at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium during a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification tie.

5 – Siyabonga Nomvethe (16)

Bafana Bafana star Siyabonga Nomvethe
Credit: Icon Sport

Nomvethe played for Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows. He scored his first goal for the national team in 1999 (Nelson Mandela Challenge) in a 1-0 win over Sweden.

He played in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and scored against Slovenia in another 1-0 victory.

At the 2000 AFCON, he scored two goals – one against Ghana in a 1-0 win and another in the 2-2 draw with Tunisia.

4 – Katlego Mphela (23)

Not many will remember Mphela, but between 2005 and 2013, he was a constant feature for South Africa.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs forward scored 23 goals for the team, with his first two coming in 2005 in a COSAFA Cup tie against Seychelles.

3 – Bernard Parker (23)

Bafana Bafana star Bernard Parker
Credit: Icon Sort

At 37, Parker is still going on. He currently plays for TS Galaxy but has a rich Bafana Bafana history.

The former Kaizer Chiefs forward played for the national team between 2007 and 2015, scoring 23 goals from 73 appearances.

Parker, who also played for the South African U-23 team, scored his first international goal in a 3-0 friendly win over Malawi in 2008.

2 – Shaun Bartlett (28)

Bafana Bafana star Shaun Bartlett
Credit: Icon Sport

Shaun Bartlett is a Kaizer Chiefs legend but has also played for Charlton Athletic and Bloemfontein Celtic.

He has scored many goals for club and country and is the second-highest goalscorer for Bafana Bafana.

Bartlett made his debut against Lesotho in 1995. He helped South Africa win the 1996 African Cup of Nations and scored two goals at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

He scored his first goal for South Africa in a 2-0 win over Egypt in a Four Nations tournament.

1 – Benni McCarthy (31)

Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy
Credit: Icon Sport

As Legends go, Benni McCarthy is one for South Africa. The former Ajax star has been around the top and is currently an assistant coach at Manchester United.

He made his international debut for Bafana Bafana in a friendly against Netherlands in June 1997.

He was the joint top scorer with veteran Egyptian forward Hossam Hassan in the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations (7). In that tournament, he scored his first goals for South Africa in grand style.

McCarthy put four goals past Namibia in 13 minutes.

He is Bafana’s all-time top scorer.

Bafana Bafana top 25 goal scorers

# Player Club Date of Birth Apps Goals
1 Benni McCarthy Retired 12.11.1977 69 31
2 Shaun Bartlett Retired 31.10.1972 74 28
3 Bernard Parker TS Galaxy FC 16.03.1986 73 23
4 Katlego Mphela Retired 29.11.1984 53 23
5 Siyabonga Nomvethe Retired 02.12.1977 81 16
6 Percy Tau El Ahly Cairo 13.05.1994 36 13
7 Sibusiso Zuma Retired 23.06.1975 66 13
8 Tokelo Rantie Without Club 08.09.1990 41 12
9 Siphiwe Tshabalala Without Club 25.09.1984 90 12
10 Delron Buckley Retired 07.12.1977 73 10
11 Teko Modise Retired 22.12.1982 66 10
12 Bongani Zungu Mamelodi Sundowns 09.10.1992 31 6
13 Themba Zwane Mamelodi Sundowns 03.08.1989 33 6
14 Thamsanqa Gabuza TS Galaxy 27.07.1987 14 5
15 Philemon Masinga (Late) 28.06.1969 29 5
16 Surprise Moriri Retired 20.03.1980 32 5
17 Sibusiso Vilakazi Sekhukhune United 29.09.1989 34 5
18 John Moshoeu (Late) 18.12.1965 42 5
19 Andile Jali Moroka Swallows 10.04.1990 49 5
20 Mark Williams Retired 11.08.1966 13 4
21 Bongokuhle Hlongwane Minnesota United 20.06.2000 14 4
22 Lebo Mothiba RC Strasbourg Alsace 28.01.1996 15 4
23 Teboho Mokoena Mamelodi Sundowns 24.01.1997 20 4
24 Thabo Mngomeni Retired 24.06.1969 24 4
25 Siyabonga Sangweni Retired 29.09.1981 28 4

This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.