Safa to intervene in eThekwini deadlock

2014-09-21 15:00

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The SA Football Association (Safa) is set to place its rebel eThekwini region under administration for holding a regional elective conference and election last month despite being instructed not to do so.

The decision to intervene in the trouble-stricken region, whose president Alpha Mchunu?–?who has been in office for 14 years?–?was re-elected at the banned congress, was taken by the football mother body’s national executive committee (NEC) at its meeting

in Limpopo on August 23.

After the NEC meeting, Safa vice-president Lucas Nhlapo, who heads a team appointed by Safa to probe the rogue congress and sort out the mess in its largest region, met members on August 30 to inform them of the decision and to hear their version of events.

Safa had banned the conference because of the existence of parallel local football associations set up by the region and its failure to modify its statutes in accordance with Safa’s constitution.

The parallel associations were allegedly set up to back another term for Mchunu and his allies, including secretary Nathi Ngcobo and vice-president Eric Smith, all of whom were re-elected.

A second faction, headed by administrator and school principal Mazwi Mkhize, aligned to the Football Transformation Forum (FTF, the structure used by the leadership to win last year’s elections), stayed away from the congress in line with the national body’s edict.

According to several football sources, Nhlapo is expected to formally appoint an administrator this week after meetings in Durban over the weekend.

“We are waiting for Safa to make the appointment of the administrator this weekend as we understand Nhlapo will be in Durban over the weekend. We are told Safa had decided to act decisively over eThekwini at the NEC because of the continued problems here,” said a provincial football administrator who asked

not be named.

“We don’t know yet who the administrator will be, but the person is needed urgently to sort out football here,” he said.

According to Smith, his team had met Nhlapo and “presented him with documentation that furthers our case”.

He added: “They told us what they wanted to have in place and what it was we had done that did not meet with their approval, and what steps we needed to take.”

There had been no further correspondence from Safa nor a date set for a follow-up meeting.

Smith said: “I’m shocked to hear that an administrator will be appointed. We have had no correspondence or indication of this since the meeting.

“They indicated that our documentation would be studied. We have heard nothing since. There was no sign of discomfort with our explanation. The nonraising of discomfort is tantamount to saying they were comfortable.”

Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble and Nhlapo did not respond to calls and text messages from City Press. Mkhize said he was unaware of the move to appoint an administrator. “We are awaiting direction from Safa on the way forward,” he said.

Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi said “internal processes” were taking place in eThekwini and other regions, but there was “little we can offer” in terms of comment at this time.

It is unclear whether this impasse will be resolved before Safa’s annual general meeting, which is scheduled for October 11.

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