JOHANNESBURG – Will Danny Jordaan have a challenger for the South African Football Association (Safa) presidency on March 24, or will he stand unopposed?
The two men who have so far declared an interest in toppling Jordaan from the top administrative role have been stopped dead in their tracks by the Safa constitution.
Former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe and Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, an ex-vice president of Safa who was ejected four years ago, have hit a snag in their campaign after they were declared ineligible.
“It’s unfortunate, but Chief has a number of misdeeds and was expelled by the Safa congress. If you are expelled, it means you no longer belong to the family of football,” said Poobalan Govindasamy, a member of the Safa national executive committee and chairperson of the ethics and integrity wing at the association.
Nonkonyana last week insisted that questions over his eligibility were greatly exaggerated and were Safa’s way of undermining his campaign.
He also claimed that he had support from some of the 52 regions that will vote for their preferred candidate by the end of February, adding that he is taking Safa to Court on Monday, even though he has lost the previous three cases.
On Thursday afternoon at the Milpark Hotel in Johannesburg, the Football Transformation Forum (FTF) – a structure formed in 2008 that led the charge in first Kirsten Nematandani becoming Safa president and then Jordaan as his successor – hit back at Nonkonyana and argued that Radebe was ill-advised.
FTF’s secretary general Mzwandile Maforvane, also a member of the Safa NEC, said an overwhelming majority of the regions had affirmed Jordaan as the man they want to continue leading the mother body for another term in office.
Jordaan ascended to football’s top administrative role in September 2013 when he was elected ahead of Mandla Mazibuko by 162 votes to his challengers’ 88 from the 52 Safa regions.
Nonkonyana also alleged last week that he was instrumental in that election, and argued that Jordaan is now seeking another term because he was power hungry.
The regions are yet to officially confirm their stance, but several heads of these provinces gathered at the hotel on Thursday and backed Jordaan.
Where does this leave any potential candidate?
“It is nice to see somebody (else) standing, in fact even having Lucas Radebe is good,” Govindasamy said. “But make sure you are eligible in terms of the constitution and that you satisfy the criteria that was set nine years ago.
“Lucas doesn’t serve in the structures, only in the sub-committee. Does he know what’s happening at grassroots level of football in the country? No.
“He played overseas, captained Bafana, but what has he done since he has come back? Nothing.
“We don’t have individuals like George Weah, for example. Sometimes ignorance breeds ignorance, and that is what I see when it comes to the confusion over eligibility. You are not properly advised, you don’t read, and you just open your mouth when you should not.”