KEMPTON PARK, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 23, President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Mr. Kirsten Nematandani during the South African U23 farewell greeting at the Holiday Inn Garden Court on November 23, 2011 in Kempton Park, South Africa. The team will participate in the inaugural CAF U23 Championships. Photo by Lee Warren / Gallo Images

Kirsten Nematandani has termed as “irresponsible” some members of the Safa technical committee who reportedly expressed anger at the handling of the appointment process for the new Bafana Bafana coach.

“I read the article with shock and immediately spoke to the (technical committee) chairman (Fanyana Sibanyoni) who was also surprised,” Nematandani said of the report in the Sunday Times. “I could not believe that people could be so irresponsible as to go out and question processes they know very well about.”

According to the paper, three anonymous members of the technical committee are unhappy that the South African Football Association (Safa) have called Steve Komphela and Gordon Igesund to make their case for the job to the National Executive Committee (NEC) this Saturday.

The members, says the report, have chosen Komphela as the man to replace Pitso Mosimane having given the Free State Stars coach the most points (90/100). Their expectation, it appears, was that Safa would rubber-stamp their recommendation instead of giving Igesund (who got 70 points from the TC) an opportunity to impress while he’d failed in the initial instance.

But Nematandani is not amused: “As the executive committee of Safa, we have the power to select (a coach). After all, when everything is said and done, the executive are the ones who must be answerable to the nation. It’s common procedure at Safa that different committees make recommendations to the executive and we don’t blindly accept it, we interrogate them and that’s what’s going to happen on Saturday. And the technical committee knew about this ahead of their meeting with the coaches because we made it clear to them in a meeting.”

Nematandani said it is not that Komphela and Igesund are going to have to represent what they did to the technical committee where they beat all of Gavin Hunt, Neil Tovey and Shakes Mashaba to be the top two. “We don’t want a case where an executive committee member of the association does not know why someone is a coach of the national team. So we’re going to have the technical committee explain to us how they arrived at the recommendation they did and the coaches answering whatever the members of the NEC might have. There has to be a level of accountability in decisions we make and this is one of the biggest we have to make.”

The president also expressed disappointment at the technical committee members’ decision to go anonymous. “I would not have respect for people who don’t have the conviction to stand up for a point they are raising. Why do they stay anonymous? What they’ve done says they doubt their own decisions. If they are confident that their recommendation is the best for the country they should be able and willing to stand up and defend it in front of us, the executive, and everybody else.”

Surely, he added, the technical committee should be “anticipating the executive rubber-stamping their recommendation if they believe they made the right choice”.

While Nematandani makes some valid points, the TC’s concerns are not baseless. In 1998, the Safa NEC overruled a TC recommendation that Igesund be made coach and chose Trott Moloto instead. – The Star