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Ria Ledwaba's application dismissed by the High Court, SAMFLA picket at Safa again

The South African Football Association (Safa) on Wednesday welcomed the decision by the Pretoria High Court to dismiss SAFA vice president Ria Ledwaba’s attempt to stop the Association’s Elective Congress

The South African Football Association (Safa) on Wednesday welcomed the decision by the Pretoria High Court to dismiss SAFA vice president Ria Ledwaba’s attempt to stop the Association’s Elective Congress. Picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse

Published Jun 15, 2022


Johannesburg - The SA Football Association (Safa) presidential elections are set to go ahead on June 25 as scheduled.

This comes after judge Branda Neukircher of the Pretoria High Court ruled that Ria Ledwaba’s application must be struck off the roll due to lack of urgency.

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On the eve of her manifesto, after her clearance alongside incumbent Danny Jordaan and Solly Mohlabeng, Ledwaba served court papers seeking an interdict of the Safa Elective Congress.

In her reasons, Ledwaba said she felt that the timing of the elections was off, as it favoured Jordaan, while they had only three weeks to canvas for their campaigns.

The Safa vice-president has had backing, from former players and political parties such as Doctor Khumalo and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), since accepting her nomination.

Meanwhile, Safa chief executive Tebogo Motlantle welcomed the ruling of judge Neukircher on Wednesday.

“Safa welcomes the decision of the Pretoria High Court to dismiss the application brought by Ria Ledwaba,” Motlanthe said in a statement from the association.

“The association will continue with the preparations for the Safa Elective Congress on June 25 and we are happy with the decision.”

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On Wednesday morning, a handful of South African Masters and Legends Football Association (SAMLFA) members picketed outside the Safa House for a second march in less than a month.

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In their first march, late last month, SAMLFA delivered a memorandum to a Fifa delegate, Fani David who is based at Safa House, where they wrote their grievances about the current leadership of the association.

Having received no answer in more than 15 days, the SAMLFA members braved the cold Johannesburg weather and picketed outside Safa House, singing songs of struggles that were directed at Jordaan.

“We want them (Fifa) to intervene in the manner in which Sfa is running our football; they are not doing justice,” SAMLFA spokesperson Pepe Dire said.

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“We are supposed to be the powerhouse of African football as South Africa but we’ve gone out of the top 10 in the continental rankings. We’ve qualified for a few major tournaments in the last 10 years.

“As SAMLFA, we feel that we have a part to play in changing our football. We also said that they mustn’t have a foreign coach, and if they do, they must have a local coach.”

Helman Mkhalele is a local coach and an assistant to the Belgian head coach, Hugo Broos. Which local coach would SAMLFA have preferred?

“Helman Mkhalele was an immediate guy that was nearer to Hugo Broos,” Dire continued.

“He was not chosen on merit, although I am not talking ill about Helman Mkhalele because he is one of our own. It was not done the right way, that’s what we are saying.

“We had guys like Pitso Mosimane and Shakes Mashaba. We needed them to be there, but we know how they were kicked out.

“We are happy that Helman Mkhalele is there. But are you sure he’ll be the next Bafana coach? I bet you, he’ll never be. They know that they have an agenda.”

With SAMLFA crying out for change in SAFA’s leadership, does that mean incumbent Jordaan has failed in his second tenure as the association’s boss?

“We need someone that can bring changes and it’s not the incumbent. He’s not even answering our letters. Why isn’t he?” Dire asked.

However, between Mohlabeng and Ledwaba, Dire said SAMLFA hasn’t decided on which candidate they'll be backing, although he gave his personal choice.

“Ria Ledwaba is more experienced than any of the people running football in South Africa,” Dire said.

“She also had a team (Ria Stars). She was also part and parcel of the Fifa delegation at some stage. I can tell you she’s experienced and that's the lady we need.”

IOL Sport

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Danny JordaanSoccer