The towering central defender recently captained South Africa’s national U20 side to the Africa Youth Cup of Nations and U20 World Cup campaigns – and was subsequently rewarded with a spot in the senior squad for his impressive displays.
Malepe was also part of the previous COSAFA Cup squad that won the tournament in Namibia last year, as preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“This call-up came as a surprise but a pleasant surprise at that,” he told the Orlando Pirates official website. “We (players) all dream of representing our countries and personally this call up is one step closer for me realising my dream.”
Another young Buccaneers talent Sandile Mthethwa was also named part of the 23-man squad and spoke of his elation to have risen through the ranks within the national team set-up.
“I am grateful for the call-up. I want to represent my country at all levels and this call up has just motivated me even more,” Mthethwa said.
“I believe the experience I have gained playing in the national team at Under 20 level will help me a great deal to adjust and become an even better player.”