Bafana not in it for the money - Khumalo

Bafana decided to show their commitment to Afcon but foregoing bonuses in the first stages.

Bafana players stretch at a training session at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on 11 January 2013.Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana captain Bongani Khumalo says his team's decision to forego bonus payments at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) until the knockout stage is to prove that they are not in it for the money.

Bafana open their campaign against Cape Verde on Saturday at Johannesburg's National Stadium.

The local side has been given the mandate by the South African Football Association (Safa) to reach at least the semi-finals or else coach Gordon Igesund's job is on the line.

Khumalo says, "We are sending a message that we're here to fight for our country. I think the perception has always been that the players are a bit selfish. I think the guys are showing courage by refusing bonuses until a later stage."

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma visited Bafana to wish them well.

Bafana last won the tournament back in 1996.

Tickets for the opening match have been sold out.