Yet another bloody war looms for the soul of South African soccer. S’Busiso Mseleku speaks to some of the Safa regions ahead of the September elections
Exactly what happened in the South African Football Association (Safa) 2009 elections seems likely to happen again. Irvin Khoza and Danny Jordaan seem to be heading for an ugly tussle for the position of president.
A survey this week of Safa regions comprising the main voting members revealed that the regions are evenly split between the two charismatic football leaders.
City Press got 31 responses from the 52 regions. Some went for Khoza, others for Jordaan, while others were neutral, saying they still had to make their final decision.
Despite Safa having a clause in its constitution that prevents Khoza from running for the position, vice-president Mandla “Shoes” Mazibuko announced on Sunday that 29 Safa regions had decided to ask Khoza to stand.
He said these regions had decided to put Khoza forward as president, with Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, Alpha Mchunu and himself as deputies.
Mazibuko said the regions would propose an amendment to the clause in the Safa constitution that bars the PSL chairman or any club owner from running for president.
In a radio interview, Nonkonyana said he had not accepted this group’s nomination but had received calls to stand for the presidency, while others asked him to continue as vice-president, but there had been no formal nominations as yet.
In the survey, eight regions said they supported Khoza, with 13 going for Jordaan and 10 remaining neutral. The 52 regions are spread thus: KwaZulu-Natal 11; Eastern Cape 8; Free State 5; Western Cape 6; Northern Cape 5; Gauteng 5; North West 4; Mpumalanga 3; and Limpopo 5.
Those that said they had not decided yet were Ugu, Zululand, Umkhanyakude, Sisonke, Joe Gqabi, Buffalo City, John Taolo Gaetsewe, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Bojanala.
Those that supported Khoza were Uthungulu, eThekwini, Thabo Mofutsanyana, Sedibeng, Vhembe, Nkangala, Mopani and Gert Sibanda.
Jordaan’s backing came from Umgungundlovu, Chris Hani, Cacadu, Xhariep, Pixley ka Seme, Central Karoo, Frances Baard, Cape Town, Capricorn, West Coast, Amathole, Waterberg and Overberg.
The regions are the biggest voting structure within Safa as they have four votes apiece, totalling 208. The national executive members have 35 votes, associate members eight and the PSL has six.
What emerged from interviews with the regional presidents is that most want unity, and soccer to be taken to a higher level.
There was a strong feeling from the group supporting Khoza that the Football Transformation Forum (FTF) had failed, and caused division in football.
But those in favour of Jordaan swore by the FTF and believed it was the right vehicle to take soccer to a higher level.
While some of those supporting Khoza were part of the decision to include the clause preventing the PSL chair or any club chairperson from running or being elected as Safa president, they said they believed it had been the wrong decision.
Stanley Buthelezi, who has been delegated to talk on behalf of Safa eThekwini, as Mchunu is one of the nominees, said: “We believe the clause should be changed to allow the PSL chairman to stand, but include a condition that if elected he should step down from the league.”
Amathole president Andile Ndengezi, who is being touted as a vice-president should Jordaan win, said: “Danny has a high international profile and we believe he can take our football higher.”
Lejaha Thoba of Safa Thabo Mofutsanyane in the Free State said Khoza had phoned him on Friday to tell him he was standing again.
“We supported him in 2009 and we will support him this time again,” he said. Joe Qgabi president Linda Fatyela said he had received an anonymous SMS calling for incumbent president Kirsten Nematandani to be given a second term.
Safa will hold a constitutional congress on August 24 where the Khoza faction hopes to have the constitution amended. They need a two-thirds majority for this to happen. But this week, Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble said they had missed the 30-day deadline to forward this proposal.
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