In part I of II, Independent Media spoke to the main role players in the South African Football Association elections leading up to the congress to be held in Sandton tomorrow (Saturday). Today we speak to Andile “Ace” Ncobo who is challenging Danny Jordaan for the Safa presidency.
Ngidi: You’ve raised a number of discrepancies from Safa in regards to these elections, especially surrounding the electoral committee and the vetting of candidates. Are you happy with the process that led to these elections?
Ncobo: The process has been riddled with procedural flaws, missed time frames and gross constitutional violations.
Ngidi: Should the elections go ahead tomorrow then?
Ncobo: I am not the appropriate authority to make that call. But if it were for me, I would stick to saying the outcome of any congress organised under such gross irregularities will never produce credible outcomes.
Ngidi: Do you think these elections will be free and fair?
Ncobo: You can’t even begin to speak of free and fair elections when the process leading up to the congress has been riddled with threats, suspensions and systematic exclusion of contenders. Elections are not only free and fair in terms of casting ballots but also in terms of how easy it has been for anyone with interest to stand to actually be on the ballot paper.
Ngidi: Why should you be elected Safa president?
Ncobo: I have this dream of bringing back Safa to being a football organisation again instead of this political entity that it has been transformed into. We can reposition Safa to take its rightful place as a model of effective football development that other countries can learn from. Safa can be at the epicentre of social transformation, social cohesion and social justice as an entity that is best positioned to capture the hearts and minds of the youth. I would want to see Safa leverage the power of mass-based participation and following, to play a meaningful role in ensuring that the business of football, commercially, is central to the agenda of radical economic transformation by giving opportunities for businesses owned by the historically disadvantaged to partake in mainstream economy. Of course, all of these must feed into proper talent development from which all the national teams can benefit.
Ngidi: What kind of a leader does our football need to take it to the next level?
Ncobo: The Safa presidency is not an executive presidency. It needs less of an office person but more of a visionary who can lead the organisation towards the attainment of the objectives I’ve stated. With competent administrators that vision can be translated into programmes of action with clearly defined goals.
Ngidi: What prompted you to challenge the current administration?
Ncobo: It’s an open secret that things are not going as they should. The current president may have been a great office administrator but I believe he’s been the weakest in that leadership position, that compounded by allowing Safa to be politicised away from being a football entity. The fact that they had to cancel the elections scheduled for 24th March vindicated me in my contention that he failed to do the foremost duty of a president, upholding and defending the constitution.