Highlanders have appointed Mandla Mpofu as their new head coach to replace Mark Harrison who returned to England due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mpofu signed a one-year performance-based contract for the 2021 season. He had served as the first assistant coach in the senior team before the latest promotion.

Confirming the news, Bosso chairman Kenneth Mhlophe told the Chronicle: “We have appointed Mandla Mpofu to take over the role of the head coach and he will be assisted by Bekithemba Ndlovu.

“Mandla’s (current) contract with Highlanders expires at the end of the year and we agreed as an executive to give him a performance-based one-year contract. The other coaches still have running contracts with the club.”

Explaining why the club failed to retain the services of Harrison, Mhlope said: “We are not in good financial standing to pay Harrison, and he is well aware of our situation, but we have kept our doors open to working with him in future if the situation improves.

“Our benefactors, who paid Harrison’s salary, were also hit hard by effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and could not continue paying him.”

The appointment at the top is Mpofu’s second in just over a year. In mid-2019, he took over the reins after the departure of Madinda Ndlovu, but his short tenure did not yield the best results and was demoted to his previous role following the arrival of Dutchman Pieter de Jongh.