Ace Ncobo withdrew from the Safa presidential race . Photo: Antoine de Ras

Ace Ncobo withdrew from the Safa presidential race on the morning of the elective congress at the Sandton Convention Centre out of fear for his life and as a matter of principle.

Ncobo’s withdrawal left Danny Jordaan to run unopposed for another five-year term as Safa president. The former Fifa referee, Ncobo, has been critical of these elections, arguing that they are illegal, unlawful and even wrote to Fifa asking them to put Safa under administration. 

Ncobo’s biggest bone of contention revolved around the Independent Electoral Committee (IEC) which he argued must be elected in a general assembly at least six months before the elective congress.

That wasn’t done, which led to the IEC’s withdrawal from overseeing these elections and the postponement from the original date of March 24. Fifa advised Safa to amend its electoral code and ratify the appointment of a substitute electoral committee. Safa made those changes but Ncobo continued to slam the process leading up to these elections, saying it was riddled with threats, procedural flaws, missed time frames and gross constitutional violation.  

“I came here to formally register inside congress because when you pursue redress on something, the first question you are asked, were you there? Did you register that objection? If you answer no to any of those questions, then you have a problem,” Ncobo said.

“I am here, I registered. I’ve got my tag. I signed the attendance register. I rose in the congress. I registered the fact that this is unlawful, unprocedural and breaks the statutes and the electoral code. I did that. That’s money in the vault. This is illegal. I thought that by registering its illegality, they would then entertain (my objection), discuss it and we convince ourselves that it’s not right. On top of that I received threats inside. There is a delegate who threatened to smash my face. I don’t feel safe. I have to leave.”

Ncobo’s statement hints that he and his backers will challenge the outcome of these elections, especially since he ticked all the boxes needed to ensure that he has grounds to stand on should he mount a challenge.

“It’s a decision that will be taken by football people who wanted me to stand,” Ncobo responded on whether he will challenge these elections.

“My withdrawal is a matter of principle. The people who wanted me to stand and have been backing me were very clear on this thing. They said that even if we came here and discovered that we have 100% support, we must still pull out of this process because nobody wants to be produced by a fraudulent congress. I believe that principles take time. But principles are always victorious. It’s going to take time, much longer than I thought but we are going to win the war.”

IOL Sport

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