Safa to smoke peace pipe after heated relationships with its chiefs
JOHANNESBURG - Newly-elected South African Football Association chief executive officer Tebogo Motlanthe has vowed to deliver on the mandates of the national executive committee, while stressing the importance of providing a supportive structure to the national teams.
Following the departure of Dennis Mumble, who was a permanent CEO in 2018, the NEC appointed Russel Paul as acting. But after taking up a position within the organising committee of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, the latter resigned from his post.
Soon thereafter, the NEC endorsed Gay Mokoena as the acting CEO for six months, between November 2019 and December 2020. But Mokoena didn’t last to see another term, his contract not renewed after reportedly having a fall-out with president Danny Jordaan.
The NEC acted swiftly to find the former vice-president’s replacement, appointing head of legal affairs Motlanthe as his replacement on an acting basis – while the NEC search for a permanent replacement. And having the application process started in September, Safa revealed the winning candidate.
“I am happy to announce this morning that the NEC decided on a unanimous basis that advocate Tebogo Motlanthe be appointed as the chief executive officer of Safa (on a fulltime basis) for a period of five years, commencing today,” Jordaan said at Safa House in Nasrec.
The eight-month period where Motlanthe served as acting CEO has enlightened him about the demands that come with the job, especially in ensuring that he bridges the gap between Safa and the Premiership Soccer League – who’ve been at loggerheads in the past.
But following the successful resumption of the domestic professional league in the “bio bubble” in August, it’s safe to say that Motlanthe is brewing a fruitful relationship between the two associations, albeit his primary mandate being the organisation he serves.
“I’d like to thank the national executive committee, under your leadership president, for showing confidence in me. That confidence will not in any way be betrayed or gone against. One commits to deliver on the deliverables in terms of what the NEC has mandated,” Motlanthe said.
“Of course, we spoke about the national teams. It’s important that they start playing well. We have started to plan for Bafana Bafana’s remaining Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan in March at home and away respectively.”
The South Africans are second in Group C with nine points, level with leaders Ghana. And should they get maximum points in their last two matches they’d qualify for the finals in Cameroon next year as group winners, although a second spot finish will also be enough.
Meanwhile, Jordaan said they are making swift strides in ensuring that Patrice Motsepe has a fully-fledged campaign in his pursuit to run for the most powerful seat in African football – the presidency of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in March.
In his efforts to ensure that he gets the backing of most associations on the continent, after being elected and endorsed by South Africa, Botswana and Nigeria, the Mamelodi Sundowns’ owner has spent some time campaigning in the East and West parts.
On Motsepe's campaign, Jordaan said: “I think he’s done very well. We now just have to wait for the Fifa review committee to give us the finalists. But as far as Caf is concerned, we’ve submitted all the candidates to Fifa - including his name. When we were in Cameroon, people were excited about his candidacy.”