OPINION: Safa’s internal squabbles sad and disappointing
It dates back to May 15, 2004, when the South Africa Football Association won the bid to host the first football World Cup on African soil.
Fast forward 10 years and it appears there’s even more dissension in the Safa ranks.
Cracks appeared early in April when then acting chief executive Gay Mokoena accused Safa president Danny Jordaan of running the organisation as his personal fiefdom, flouting corporate governance principles and violating statutes.
Jordaan had allegedly terminated Mokoena’s unofficial extended term as chief executive, which was based on a gentlemen’s agreement, mid-way through the month as his contract had come to an end on March 30.
Mokwena then sent a 71-page report that accused Jordaan of running the organisation for his personal battles to Safa’s national executive committee.
Former chief executive Dennis Mumble, who resigned two years ago, opened up about how his tenure was “beset with difficulties occasioned by a president who would stop at nothing to act as executive president and violate almost every principle of good governance”.
The federation backed Jordaan, but to say that the storm within the organisation has settled in recent weeks would be an understatement.
Last weekend the turmoil continued as Ria Ledwaba and Mokoena were removed as Safa vice-presidents after they apparently had public engagement with “third parties” about internal matters.
Ledwaba, who has been part of Safa structures for over 30 years, was dismissed after sending a letter to and meeting with Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa about Safa’s issues recently.
Ledwaba claims that when she initially raised her concerns with Jordaan, they fell on deaf ears, prompting her decision to bring in Mthethwa.
Meanwhile, uncertainty continues to cloud the resumption of domestic football as there has been no communication from Mthethwa’s office, the government or the Safa/National Soccer League’s joint liaison committee on whether the recommendation of the task team to conclude the domestic season amid the Covid-19 pandemic through a “biological safe environment” remains the best option.
However, although the PSL are said to be keen on implementing the method as the leagues - the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship - have already missed their respective deadlines and there’s a need to consider financial interests of all stakeholders, reports have emerged that Safa were the stumbling block in getting proceedings underway.
A “massive single camp” will probably ensure that all football-related activities, carried out according to recommended protocols and regulations, are played at risk measures similar to level 1 of the national lockdown.
But Safa, on the other hand, says it would be best to follow the government’s recommendations, which are to start light training at the current level 3 and only then resume football on level 1.
It’s quite sad and disappointing that the South African football leaders who should be celebrating are instead squabbling.@MihlaliBaleka