The South African Football Association (SAFA) chief executive, Tebogo Motlanthe says there’s no witch hunt against SAFA’s presidential candidate Ria Ledwaba. Motlanthe says Article 50 of the SAFA statutes does not allow any of the candidates to canvass support until 14 days before the elections.
The CEO will only publish the names of all the approved and endorsed candidates two weeks before the much anticipated elective congress.
Sparks are already flying six weeks before SAFA’s elective congress.
SAFA has been lambasted by many after one of the presidential candidates, current vice-president, Ria Ledwaba failed to pitch for her election manifesto conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday. This follows a circular sent to all members including Ledwaba, warning her against attending the planned media briefing.
SAFA says their constitution stipulates that an official list will only be released 14 days before the elections, after a rigorous screening process.
“Currently we don’t have an approved list there are constitutional provisions which need to be followed and if SAFA does not regulate it you run a risk of having people who know that they do not comply calling press conferences lying to the people. So you need to first sort your issues of compliance and once the governance committee comes and says we have screened and this is our report and that report is adopted then we publicise the list that’s what the constitution says. So it applies to everyone it was not even focused on one individual, it was focused on all nominees to say you only become a candidate once the list is approved,” says Motlanthe.
VIDEO: SAFA Presidency – Ria Ledwaba getting support from civil society
SAFA will be using an independent governance committee to run their elective congress for the very first time. They say they are now following international standards set by the world’s football controlling body FIFA, as well as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that have proven to be cost-effective.
“After the 2018 elections, we then had a situation where a lot of money was spent to be exact R1.4 million was paid to the electoral committee but also the process itself. It was complicated. You needed a special paper which had a security bar. You needed a lot of things and remember that such electoral code was not only for the head office, it also spoke to your LFA, but it also spoke to your regions so it became quite expensive and complicated to run elections,” Motlanthe explains.
The SAFA leadership has also dismissed accusations of continuously amending the constitution to protect the incumbent president, Danny Jordaan as well as his current executive.
“Remember for you to change a constitution you need a two-thirds majority of the 52 regions so the members who are empowered by the constitution to change it when it suits they have taken that decision, and remember in terms of the SAFA constitution the congress is the highest decision-making body who is the congress it’s all members combined so there is no issue of the president making a sole decision to change the constitution because we are transparent and we called you when we were doing this, it was done in a congress, it was not done at night, we are not protecting anyone as I said as the administration we are playing very far from politics,” Motlanthe reiterates.
Former Bafana Bafana players felt they were being snubbed by the association in an attempt to turn things around in South African football. But SAFA says anyone interested in running for office should meet certain requirements.
“In terms of the SAFA statutes, you should have ten years of experience, you should be nominated by your own region. You should get the support of at least two regions and of course you must be a person of integrity because what they are going to do the governance committee is to check you don’t have criminal records if you don’t pose any risk or danger to the association if you are elected,” Motlanthe adds.
The SAFA elections will be held in Johannesburg on the 25th of June.