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Bafana Bafana's Nations Cup record is short but impressive.
Whether they can match those previous performances depends largely on the players that make it to Mali.
Coach Carlos Queiroz had said he would allow those who wanted to stay away to fulfil club commitments, though now he has had a change of heart.
Manchester United's Quinton Fortune is available, but captain Shaun Bartlett has run into problems being released from Charlton.
That may cost him dear with Queiroz using Mali 2002 to prepare for the World Cup.
South Africa's strength lies with their wide players, particularly right winger Sibusiso Zuma.
But in defence they will miss the experience of the out-of-favour Mark Fish and the injured Lucas Radebe, both of whom played in the last three competitions.
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