In a move likely to set tongues wagging and trigger a backlash in South African football, Safa presidential hopeful Ria Ledwaba could be disqualified from contesting next month’s election.
Ledwaba, one of Safa’s vice-presidents and Nomsa Mahlangu, a former national executive committee (NEC) member, face the same fate on the grounds that they were not nominated by their regions.
City Press has reliably learnt that both could miss out because they were not nominated by the regions where they were born. This clause was reportedly inserted last month and hurriedly pushed through.
City Press has seen copies of the Safa statutes and there are differences between the initial and final documents.
Some regional members, who spoke to City Press on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, view the move as an attempt to sideline Safa president Danny Jordaan’s opponents by using the congress to push an agenda.
The clause, under article 25.9 of the Safa statutes, was only included and approved last month.
It states that:In terms of the national list, every candidate for the Safa NEC shall be proposed by his/her own region or by a member whom he/she belongs to and be supported by at least two other members.
City Press has established that Ledwaba, who is a provincial executive member of Safa Limpopo, was not nominated by her Capricorn region of Safa but by the neighbouring Vhembe region in the province.
But those sympathetic to Ledwaba have argued that, as one of the vice-presidents of Safa, she did not need to be nominated by her region to be eligible, as she serves a national constituency.
One regional member protested: This is a clear case of purging. How can you disqualify a vice- president who was nominated and also supported by other regions? It has never happened in the history of Safa and cannot be left unchallenged.
The angry members claimed that some of the clauses were not deliberated at the congress held in Sandton, Johannesburg on March 26, but the changes were “sneaked through” after the meeting.
As a result, there was a move to challenge some of these clauses, added an irate member.
Former executives also barred
It has also emerged that former NEC members will not be allowed to stand for elections.
According to article 30.4(f) of the Safa statues:The members of the Safa NEC must not have served as a Safa NEC member previously and/or served at a higher level than as a Safa NEC member.
It means the likes of Mahlangu, Kirsten Nematandani, Lucas Nhlapo, Elvis Shishana, Buti Lerefolo, Gay Mokoena, Willy Mooka and Abel Rakoma stand no chance of returning to the Safa national office.
Interestingly, according to insiders, this clause was not part of the amendments approved at the March 26 congress.
“There was no article 30.4(f) in the statutes which were last amended by the ordinary congress last month.
“But it has now been included in the signed copy. How is this possible?” asked the members.
“This is more about eliminating the competition. Where is the fairness in all of this?
“If people feel they have the numbers [backing them up to contest elections] what are they afraid of?”
Safa governance committee questioned
This week, Safa told the media that the list of nominees had been submitted to the governance committee for vetting.
But some members have questioned the governance structure, which they insist disqualified certain members on frivolous grounds.
They argued that the committee was hand-picked and curiously ratified by the Sandton congress last month.
One member said: Constitutionally, most of these clauses can be challenged at the highest level and, I can assure you, they are illegal.
Safa failed to respond to specific questions on these clauses when City Press inquired this week.