The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has noted a complaint on alleged irregularities made by SA Football Association (Safa) vice-president Ria Ledwaba about next month’s Safa presidential elections, but said it will not get involved in a domestic member’s affairs.
Caf added that it would be sending a delegation to observe the June 25 Safa elective congress, where several nominees including Ledwaba hope to stand against incumbent Danny Jordaan, to ensure they are free and fair.
The letter, of which TimesLIVE has a copy, was signed by Caf general secretary Véron Mosengo-Omba.
Members of Ledwaba’s camp, however, questioned why Caf was responding to a letter that had been addressed to Fifa.
Caf’s letter states: “We refer to the above matter and acknowledge receipt of your complaint dated May 9 2022 addressed to the general secretary of Fifa [Fatma Samoura].
“The complaint alleges that during the [Safa] ordinary congress on March 26, Safa amended its constitution in contravention of the rules and procedures laid down by the said constitution … [That it did so] by among others: irregularly convening the congress on March 26, [and] failing to debate any of the proposed amendments that had earlier been circulated by the Safa secretariat to the members on December 7 2021.
“[In addition] passing a constitution that: contains a number of provisions that were never approved by the congress; removes certain powers from the congress by allowing the NEC to vote in elections and removing oversight of the Safa’s finances from the congress; fails the test of participation, rights of members and separation of powers; fails the test of guaranteeing fundamental rights of members; fails the test of accountability; and fails the test of separation of powers.
“We note that you [Ledwaba] attended the above-mentioned congress that passed the amended constitution … and refer to Article 7.1 (g) of the Caf Statutes pursuant to which members of Caf have the obligation ‘To manage their affairs independently and free of intrusions and interference of any kind by any person or body’.”
“In view of this, it is Caf’s policy to protect the right of its members to freely exercise their right to elect leaders of their choice without any third party interference. Having said that, Caf will send a delegation to observe the Safa elections on June 25 to ensure that they are conducted in accordance with the principles of transparency and good governance.”
Safa responded in a statement that it would “not hesitate to report any violation of the provisions by anyone to Caf and Fifa”.
“Safa also welcomes the decision by Caf and Fifa to monitor the election.”
Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said: “We are happy with the communication from Caf which confirms that the election will go ahead as planned on June 25.”
A source close to Ledwaba, who did not want to be named, questioned why Caf was responding to a letter sent to Fifa.
“Ledwaba did not write to Caf — she wrote to Fifa and Caf were just copied. How can Caf respond to a letter that was sent to Fifa?” the source queried.
The source also questioned how a Caf delegation sent to oversee the elections would help if the alleged “irregularities in the constitution that don’t make it a level playing field” were not addressed.
This month Ledwaba did not attend the launch of her presidential campaign after receiving a letter from Safa warning her she could be disqualified from entering the race if she canvassed before being cleared by the elective governance committee.