At its extraordinary congress on Saturday afternoon, the SA Football Association confirmed a new date for the presidential elections, which were abruptly postponed last month after world governing body Fifa advised the organisation to amends its electoral code and ratify the appointment of a substitute electoral committee.
But perhaps the most hair-raising outcome from this special meeting was that Ace Ncobo, a challenger to Danny Jordaan for the presidential seat, was said to have apologised for his recent remarks over the past several weeks about Safa.
Ncobo was in fact credited with forcing the association, which has scheduled May 26 as the new date to get Jordaan re-elected, to postpone elective congress. It was through his initiative that the Independent Electoral Committee (IEC) withdrew from overseeing the election following Ncobo’s claim that process was completely flawed, Safa were using KPMG, auditors whose contract with the association had long since been terminated, and had not given potential candidates enough time to campaign.
SAFA is my family & if I offended anyone during my media engagements, I'm sorry. I will be part of unity within SAFA - Ace Ncobo pic.twitter.com/Uwi3LznQeb
“He (Ncobo) apologised in this congress for harming the credibility of Safa or any individual in his media utterances. It was a learning curve, from our perspective, to him. This was his first congress as a delegate from a region. We have said that anybody who violates the new Safa code can be disciplined,” said Poobalan Govindasamy, a member of the Safa national executive committee and chairperson of the ethics and integrity wing at the association.
Ncobo refused to comment when approached for his side of the story moments after, saying he would only speak at a later time if he needs to.
Dennis Mumble, the Safa chief executive officer, also hinted that Ncobo is likely to face a disciplinary hearing for having brought the association into disrepute for his comments in the media in the lead up to the presidential elections.
Govindasamy said the process which was used to determine the two candidates for the top administrative role – Ncobo and Jordaan – would be upheld by the new electoral committee, this despite Ncobo having claimed it was completely shoddy.
Ncobo was said to have managed a single nomination vote by KPMG, a firm he labelled a disgrace in several of his public slating of Safa and had claimed to have signed more than one nonimation form, while Jordaan collected 52.
The SAFA Congress has unanimously agreed that the Elective Congress will take place on 26 May 2018. The decision was without a single objection! pic.twitter.com/VE2xNydGmE
“We have now appointed new auditors in Pricewaterhouse Coopers and with the substitute electoral committee now ratified by the congress we anticipate everything to go smoothly ahead of the date set for the elections next month,” added Govindasamy.
Jordaan is seeking a second term after he was elected Safa president in September 2013, succeeding Kirsten Nematandani and beating his opposing number, Mandla Mazibuko, by 162 votes to 88 from the 52 regions within the association.