Barker replaces Habas at Wits

Wits CEO Jose Ferreira insists the decision was because of personal reasons, but can confirm that the coach was called into a meeting towards the end of last year where his running of the team was questioned.

Ferreira told the club’s official website: “Antonio Lopez has requested that, due to personal and private reasons, he be released from his contract, due to expire at the end of the season.

“We have acceded to his request and we are in the process of finalising the necessary paperwork in this regard. Antonio Lopez has been an exemplary professional and we wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

Habas only started his job at the start of the season after the club cut their ties with Roger de Sa, who is now at Orlando Pirates.

Barker will take over on Monday, with Andre Arendse set to act as his assistant.