Since Danny Jordaan was elected Safa president in 2013, there has been a vision on how to take SA football forward, says Mzwandile Maforvane. Photo: Denis Farrell/AP

JOHANNESBURG - In Part II of II of the South African Football Association’s presidential election build-up, we speak to Mzwandile Maforvane, secretary-general of the Football Transformation Forum, who are backing Danny Jordaan to be re-elected Safa president in the elective congress to be held in Sandton on Saturday.

Ngidi: Why are you backing someone who is accused of rape by two women?

Maforvane: You have to closely look at the allegations and how they came about. Why is it that they only came up just before major events in our football? That’s why it’s hard to believe them.

But also we believe that a person is innocent until they are proven guilty.

We are not the only sporting code that believes that. Makhaya Ntini was accused of rape, and Cricket South Africa under the leadership of Ali Bacher supported him. 

Even when he was found guilty, they supported him when he appealed the matter. He was eventually cleared, and if Cricket SA hadn’t backed him, we probably wouldn’t have seen one of our finest cricketers.

Rugby also did it. They backed their CEO (Jurie Roux, who is accused of corruption).

There is also the gun scenario in the PSL (relating to chairman Irvin Khoza, who was arrested in 2001 and charged for illegal possession of a rifle and ammunition, but was eventually cleared).

If people had just agreed and accepted those charges, perhaps the PSL wouldn’t be one of the best leagues in the world like it currently is.

Our problem is how those charges and accusations came about. The first time this came up was just before the constitutional congress, and the charges were laid just before our elective congress.

Ngidi: Why should Danny Jordaan be re-elected?

Maforvane: Since he was elected president in 2013, there has been a vision on how to take South African football forward. Vision 2022 will take our football to the next level.

Under his administration the men’s Under-17 national team qualified for the World Cup in Chile in 2015. In 2016, both the women’s national team and the men’s Under-23 team qualified for the Olympics.

It’s a rare feat to have a nation that’s not hosting the Olympics having two teams in the tournament. The Under-20 national team was also at the World Cup in Korea.

That means by the time 2022 comes, we will have a group of players who have played at the highest level for a number of years before graduating to Bafana Bafana. That can only help our team become stronger.

Ngidi: But what about the delays in appointing Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana coaches which dragged on or a long time with the organisation missing a number of its deadlines?

Maforvane: What’s important isn’t getting a coach as soon as possible. What’s important is ensuring that you get the right person for the job.

We had to thoroughly look at the candidates to get the right person.

Look at Banyana Banyana for instance; we had to make sure that the person we hire has the right philosophy and understands our players.

Ace Ncobo is contesting the Safa elections today. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Desiree Ellis fits into that and she knows what’s expected of her. Vera Pauw was a very good coach but there were things she didn’t understand about us as a country and us as black people.

Desiree understands the country’s dynamics and how we do things.

Ngidi: What effect did the postponement of the elections from March 24 have on your campaign?

Maforvane: It didn’t have any effect. It’s just that there were mistakes made that needed to be addressed.

What was important for us is to have stability in the organisation.

The process itself has had a negative effect on the Safa brand because the other side (Ace Ncobo, who is challenging Jordaan for the top seat) was more interested in destroying the association than building it.

As soon as this process is over, we have to work hard in putting together the pieces.

What I am happy about is that the running of the game and football development was never affected, our leagues ran smoothly.


Saturday Star