Disciplinary action for region’s heads

2015-02-15 15:00

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An ugly standoff is taking place between Safa and its biggest affiliate, Safa eThekwini.

The impasse saw vice-president Eric Smith and secretary Nathi Ngcobo barring Safa acting head of membership affairs Andile Ndengezi from entering the Safa eThekwini offices this week.

Ndengezi’s visit aimed to find out the reason for the region not holding an elective congress on January 31 and to ensure this would happen on March 28.

Instead, he was barred from entering the premises. The leadership then sent a letter to Safa House lodging a notice of dispute in terms of Safa’s statutes.

The bodies have been at loggerheads since Safa eThekwini went ahead with its elective conference last June, defying a directive from head office not to do so.

An August national executive committee meeting deemed the elections null and void, as local football associations (LFAs) aligned to the Football Transformation Forum heeded the order and did not attend.

Safa vice-president Lucas Nhlapo was tasked with handling and resolving the matter.

Ndengezi’s other objective was to inform the region of the outcome of a meeting at the end of January, during which 70% of the LFAs in eThekwini agreed the leadership should be suspended and the region placed under administration as well as financial forensic investigation.

However, the eThekwini leadership responded by lodging a dispute in terms of section 58 of Safa’s statutes.

In its correspondence, Safa eThekwini said the decision to disband it “without affording the region any hearing’’ was “inconsistent’’ with Safa’s own regulations and was therefore “unconstitutional’’.

The region also argued that the decision to hold another elective congress at the end of March was unlawful, as was the January meeting and the notices of suspension served on the regional leadership.

Smith told City Press they had taken the decision to oppose their suspension in a bid to “find a compromise’’.

In a written response, Safa CEO Dennis Mumble reiterated the NEC’s decision, saying a meeting of 70% of the region’s LFAs had backed the decision to remove them and place the region under administration.

Mumble said participants at the meeting had also backed disciplinary action against regional executive committee members involved in “contradicting the association’s directives’’ to normalise the operations of Safa in the city.

Mumble said in the letter that disciplinary procedures were being prepared against them and advised against continued defiance of Safa’s edicts.

But Smith insisted that Safa had agreed on a negotiated process but reneged on the agreement.

“Safa national is not playing fair in this process. They have not honoured the agreements or followed through. We now want neutral people to look at this and say, ‘Do we nullify or go ahead?’

“We have been saying there is nothing wrong. Safa national says there is something wrong, but they are not saying what it is they find wrong. When we engage, they disappear and come up with resolutions we do not know about,’’ he added.

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