While all eyes have been on incumbent Danny Jordaan and Ria Ledwaba to fight for the Safa hot seat later this year, a dark horse has emerged in the form of Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi.
City Press has reliably learnt the Chippa United owner has been approached by some regions in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape to contest the Safa presidential elections.
A cagey Mpengesi this week confirmed that he had been approached, but said he had not made up his mind yet because he was still consulting other stakeholders.Mpengesi said: Yes, it’s true that I have been approached and I am still applying my mind. This to me shows that people believe in me and think I have a bigger role to play in South African football. I have done this before at Safa Western Cape and, if I decide to contest, it won’t be the first time.
He added that Safa needed young blood to take football forward.
Asked how this would affect his position at his club, the 45-year-old businessperson said he was ready to let someone run the affairs of the Gqeberha-based outfit.
Sources close to Mpengesi said he was seriously considering standing for the Safa top seat, so he has been delegating power at his club.
In January, Mpengesi appointed his son, Sandiso, as the club’s new general manager. And last week, he roped in former Bloemfontein Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco to be the club’s chief financial officer.
Sources said the appointments were calculated as Mpengesi was gradually offloading some of his responsibilities to challenge for a spot in the Safa leadership, as either president or deputy president.
The source said:Chippa is an ambitious man and won’t be shy to take this responsibility. He doesn’t want to be in the PSL executive committee as he feels it will limit his ambition of spreading his wings across the country. He has been meeting people secretly, trying to get support on the ground. But he needs to make sure that his club survives relegation [this season] because they are really struggling. It is important that he leaves the club in good hands and doesn’t have to worry about anything. If he joins Safa, he can’t afford to have divided loyalty.
However, our source also warned that it would be suicidal for Mpengesi to challenge Jordaan as a lone ranger, and advised him to join forces with Ledwaba’s slate.
“He can’t just go it alone and think he will make it. He needs to go to the regions to garner support,” the source said. “Winning the Safa elections is not as easy as it looks from the outside, but Chippa has what it takes to get something.”
The source said that Jordaan was already ahead of Ledwaba in terms of support on the ground following recent regional general meetings to elect leadership.