Articulate wordsmith scores for the beautiful game

2011-07-04 08:39

New CEO of Absa Premier Soccer League, Zola Majavu, is the right man for the job.

Shortly after Majavu was announced as the Absa Premier Soccer League’s new chief executive on Thursday, former referee Ace Ngcobo wrote on his Facebook page: “Wise decision to appoint a wise man.”

In fact social and soccer websites were awash with accolades for the man who has been the league’s legal adviser and prosecutor for the past nine years.

A fan on wrote: “If there is one thing I like about Majavu it’s his power of speech.

Gosh, this man can make you grab a fire with your hands. The first time I heard him speak I was like, ‘No, this man is supposed to be working as a diplomat not as a PSL DC. He is so articulate’.”

Executive director of the SA Football Supporters Association Siyabulela Makunga also heaped praise on the legal eagle.

“Your wealth of credible experience as a legal and football adjudicator and administrator par excellence for 10 years will, in our view, go a long way in contributing to the transformation and development of South African football.

We urge you to continue promoting the ideals of professionalism, impartiality and integrity in our football,” he wrote.

A glance at Majavu’s impressive CV shows the praise is not without justification. He’s only 42 but his CV reads like a roll call of honours for someone nearing retirement age.

Ngcobo, who is also Majavu’s friend, said: “In my view he is a football person who happens to be a lawyer and not a lawyer who happens to be involved in football. He is a wise man. He’s a thinker. He carefully considers everything before he makes a decision and is a very ethical person.”

Majavu was admitted as an attorney of the high court in 1995 and taught final-year LLB students at the University of Witwatersrand’s Law Clinic.

In March 2000 he established his own practice, Majavu Inc. Notaries and Attorneys at Law, which specialises in a wide range of legal matters, including labour, criminal, commercial, government and sports.

He has two offices, one in Johannesburg and another in Kroonstad in Free State.

Majavu has served as a presiding adjudicator in the housing bureau in the Gauteng provincial government, headed a commission of inquiry that investigated the finances of the Krugersdorp local council, was appointed director of the Practical Legal Training School for candidate attorneys at Wits and also lectured on professional ethics.

In 2001 he completed a certificate in sports law at the University of Cape Town and is also an admitted notary public.

In April 2002 he was appointed a judge in the South African National Defence Force, with the functional rank of major.

Two years later he was appointed to chair various investigations instituted by Free State’s department of local government and housing.

In June 2005 he registered for training as a judge following an invitation made to practising attorneys by the judge president of the Transvaal Provincial Division (now the North Gauteng High Court), Justice Bernard Ngoepe.

In July 2005 he was appointed to serve in the dispute resolution chamber of the Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa). He has been appointed to serve on the disciplinary committee of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces.

On top of that Majavu also serves on the boards of numerous companies and organisations, including Centlec, the Gauteng Liquor Board, Johannesburg Metropolitan Bus Services, Government Motor Transport Advisory Council, Jasimozo (Pty) Ltd and the Jolinkomo Trust.

“He’s a workaholic,” said Teboho Seleke, a lawyer who once worked with Majavu. “He’s a disciplinarian and is very strict about time.”

Seleke said despite his strictness Majavu was a humble person who could talk and relate to people from all walks of life.

“He’s versatile. You take him to court and he performs. He does an interview on radio and he says exactly what needs to be said,” said Seleke.

Seleke, who also served as Safa’s prosecutor, echoed Ncobo’s sentiments that Majavu was passionate about football.

Ncobo said Majavu’s belief in dialogue and negotiations would stand him in good stead in his new job.

“If in the future the PSL were to consider someone for the position of chairman then I see no one but Zola,” said Ngcobo.

“When he speaks you can feel the passion he has for football. Also, for Fifa to consider someone outside of Europe for such an important position is something very special, meaning they have confidence in his abilities.”

Majavu, who did not respond to City Press’s requests for an interview, told the media at a press briefing after his appointment that it was an honour to lead this dynamic organisation.

“It’s Africa’s call and Africa’s time,” he said.

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