eThekwiniSafa war gets bloody

2015-03-15 15:00

The battle for Safa’s eThekwini region turned bloody on Wednesday.

Administrator Andile Ndengezi and Pinetown Local Football Association (LFA) president Shane Malan were beaten by a group of members from suspended football associations during a meeting at Durban’s Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani hotel.

Cellphones and a laptop were damaged in the fracas. Safa insiders say the altercation was linked to the suspension of regional leadership members.

The meeting had been called to resolve disputes among parallel LFAs in Ntuzuma, Inanda, Pinetown and Verulam, as part of the process of rerunning the regional congress, which was held in August.

The leadership elected at the congress, including president Alpha Mchunu, was suspended by Safa – and the region had been placed under administration.

Safa vice-president Lucas Nhlapo, who was present when the attack took place, confirmed Ndengezi and Malan had been assaulted.

“There was an incident and police were called [in] to restore order. We continued with the meeting and the disputes were resolved.

“We will now continue with the process, with an extraordinary general congress on Wednesday. Thereafter, a date for a new elective congress will be announced, he explained.

Nhlapo said the attack would not stop the process of electing a new leadership to replace Mchunu – who has been at the helm of eThekwini for 14 years – and his “rogue” executive.

Malan confirmed he had been assaulted and said he had laid a complaint with the police. “I don’t want to say anything further than this,” he said.

In a letter to the LFAs on Monday, Ndengezi said that the four parallel LFAs had not provided any reason why the other associations that turned up for the Sunday meeting should not be accredited.

They had also failed to provide Safa with bank statements proving payment of dues and fixture lists.

As a result, the four existing LFAs and their leadership had been recognised and would participate in the extraordinary congress and elective congress.

Nhlapo confirmed there were “no longer any parallel structures.”

He said the letter of dispute from Mchunu and fellow regional leaders challenging their suspension and Ndengezi’s appointment had been “entertained by Safa”.

“We decided to place them under administration. The [Safa] president [Danny Jordaan] then intervened, saying we should not place them under administration and that they would revert to the existing leadership.

“They continued to defy and operate with the new regional executive. We are proceeding”, he said.

“A dispute does not arise. We are going ahead as planned,” he added. “They should be grateful that the president made that intervention.”

eThekwini vice-president Eric Smith said they were still waiting for a “formal response” to their letter of dispute, which was sent to Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble last month.

“They still haven’t responded to our letter of dispute. This is surprising to everybody.

“We do everything by the book and unfortunately they have not followed the same book as us,” he said.

Smith added that his leadership had not been informed of the congress.

“We have only heard about this in some corners,” he said.

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