Tokyo Sexwale is still mulling over if he should think about running for the Safa presidency. Photo: EPA
Despite the push to have him challenge incumbent Danny Jordaan for the presidency of the South African Football Association (Safa) next month, it seems all businessman Tokyo Sexwale wants to do is play the role of mediator in South African football.

Sexwale’s name topped a recent “public” poll by the newly formed National Football Consultative Forum (NFCF) as the desirable candidate to “lead the change” and take over from Jordaan.

But the man who tried to take on Sepp Blatter for the Fifa presidency two years ago didn’t come across as keen in an interview this week.

“I have to apply my mind,” said Sexwale.

The election date has been set for March 24 and so far anyone who has put their hand up as a possible challenger to Jordaan for the hot seat has been stopped dead in their tracks, with their eligibility being questioned.

According to the Safa constitution, if you are not a member of the federation’s structures then you cannot stand for any position, let alone the presidency.

Former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe and ex-national executive member Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana have tried to bypass this rule with no success.

Shakes Mashaba, who until December 2016 was Bafana coach, also threw his name in the hat, but the SA Masters and Legends Football Association, of which he is a member and recently appointed chairperson of the Gauteng branch, has threatened him with legal action if he attempts to run for the Safa presidency.

He was expected to officially launch his campaign earlier last week, but could not find a venue.

The Masters and Legends Association is backing Jordaan.

“There are too many divisions,” Sexwale said.

“I am happy to continue serving football in any capacity. Just because I am a businessman and a former political leader does not mean I am too good for the job (Safa president).

“But I am not going to sow more divisions. I saw two different press conferences from two parties. What I want is for Safa to have unity because it is not there at the moment. That is what football is all about. And I can lead this unity process  I have done this for Fifa in other countries.”

The two press briefings Sexwale was referring to involved the same NFCF that has asked him to stand for presidency, although his eligibility also comes into question, and the Football Transformation Forum (FTF), which controls a majority of the 52 Safa regions and also wants Jordaan to have another term in office.

“I have to familiarise myself with the constitution as well, but if that’s what it says on eligibility, then that’s what it says. Who can change it?

“Maybe in future this (the presidency) should be open to everyone. You know that you can run for Fifa presidency if you are an official and you have support,” said Sexwale.

Asked for his opinion on Jordaan and the accusations levelled against him of mismanagement by NFCF, the former cabinet minister said the Safa president should take responsibility if the rumours are true.

“We can’t obviously put the blame on one person, but of course Danny is the head and is in charge,” Sexwale explained.

“I haven’t spoken to him since being approached by this group to consider running for Safa presidency. But I am interested in doing so. If my involvement is about creating more divisions, then I want no part in it.”

Sunday Independent 

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