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Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 14:57 UK

South Africa stick by Bryce Moon

By Piers Edwards
BBC Sport, Johannesburg

South Africa defender Bryce Moon
Bryce Moon has been included in South Africa's latest 24-man squad

South Africa coach Joel Santana has stuck by Bryce Moon despite the 23-year-old being charged with culpable homicide a fortnight ago.

The Greece-based defender was named on Thursday in Bafana Bafana's 24-man squad for two friendlies next month.

The World Cup hosts face Germany in Leverkusen on 5 September and the Republic of Ireland three days later.

In November, Moon goes to court over an incident in August, when the car he was driving fatally wounded a pedestrian.

The Panathinaikos right-back denies being drunk as he returned from a party celebrating South Africa's fine performance in the Fifa Confederations Cup.

"The presumption in this country is that you are innocent until proven guilty," Raymond Hack, the CEO of South Africa's FA, told BBC Sport.

"He's been selected on his playing ability but obviously there are various challenges he is facing in his personal life.

"We can only support him with those challenges, and you have to be fair to the man and give him his day in court.

"Once a decision is made by the law, we will take it from there."

While South Africa's media may have anticipated that, nobody expected Belgium-based Anele Ngonca to figure among Santana's selection.

The defender, 21, is little-known in his homeland but now has the chance to force his way into South Africa's World Cup plans.

"There are always new players to assess," Hack explained.

Santana, who says he has already pencilled in some 14 players for his World Cup squad, also handed a first call-up to local goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters.

"We must not forget that we have seven friendlies left this year," the Brazilian, 60, announced.

"Germany and [the Republic of] Ireland are very important games for us.

"Not just in terms of the team's technical and tactical ability, but also in terms of what we need for the future."

With Matthew Booth joining keeper Itumeleng Khune on the injury list, defender Bevan Fransman, who made South Africa's 2008 Nations Cup squad, returned after a period in the wilderness.

There was still no place, however, for defender Nasief Morris, omitted from the Confederations Cup squad for ill-discipline, or striker Benni McCarthy, who has not played for his country since a friendly match against Chile in February.

South Africa have not won away to a European side since 2002.

South Africa squad:

Goalkeepers: Brian Baloyi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Shu-aib Walters (Bloemfontein Celtic)

Defenders: Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth, England), Bryce Moon (Panithinikos, Greece), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United), Bevan Fransman (Maccabi Netanya, Israel), Anele Ngongca (KRC Genk, Belgium), Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders: Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham, England), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Steven Pienaar (Everton, England), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Benson Mhlongo (Orlando Pirates), Elrio van Heerden (Blackburn Rovers, England), Siyabonga Nkosi (SuperSport United)

Strikers: Bernard Parker (FC Twente, Holland), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mabhuti Khenyeza (Mamelodi Sundowns), Richard Henyekane (Golden Arrows)

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see also
Highlights - First win for South Africa
17 Jun 09 |  Internationals
World Cup watch
19 Aug 09 |  African
Santana taken ill in Brazil
06 Aug 09 |  African
Morris left out of Bafana squad
04 Jun 09 |  African
McCarthy axed by Bafana coach
07 May 09 |  African

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