The 64-year-old, who helped the under-20 team qualify for the African Youth Championships at the weekend, also argued that he had been given a mandate by the South African Football Association.
He, however, did not specify what the mandate was, and leaves with his new-look side for Sudan tomorrow.
“This [the Bafana job] is nothing new to me. I have been in this chair before, and being here again is just a compliment,” said Mashaba.
“I don’t usually buy newspapers, but I have recently started to do so because I want to see what the critics are saying, even though some make it personal. The one about me being cheap is really insulting. Show me the records of those expensive coaches and let’s see. I am the longest-serving coach in [SA] football and I was called the cheapest.”
Mashaba is unlikely to be sent packing should he fail to get Bafana to next year’s Afcon tournament in Morocco.
But he said he would not encourage a lacklustre approach to the clash against Sudan and Nigeria in Cape Town five days later.
“We are not going to this game like sheep to slaughter, but we are going to fight, even against Nigeria, a team that we can’t seem to be able to beat,” Mashaba said.
The coach is also playing his cards close to his chest regarding the Bafana captaincy.
Itumeleng Khune, who was appointed skipper by Mashaba’s predecessor Gordon Igesund, could be removed before the end of the week, with right back Anele Ngcongca the hot favourite.
“The captaincy is about leadership, not tossing the coin and confronting the referees. We want someone who will guide the team on and off the field and someone who will deal with the problems players have when they arise. Someone who will discuss and guide,” explained Mashaba.
Asked about the possibility of taking over from Khune, Belgium-based Ngcongca had no hesitation in his response.
“Responsibility is a challenge, but I am not scared. I’ve captained my team [Genk], but it’s up to the coach.”