Safa will probe Khoza ‘coup plot’

2010-07-11 09:36

In what appears to be a move to quash any attempt to remove them from office, members of the South African Football Association (Safa) will launch a commission of inquiry into an alleged plot to topple them.

This follows reports that feared soccer boss Irvin Khoza was planning a coup straight after the 2010 Fifa World Cup that would see him unseat incumbent president, Kirsten Nematandani.

City Press can reveal today that the Safa leadership is in the final stages of forming a commission of inquiry to look into the matter.

The commission will be headed by advocate McCaps Motimele, assisted by former Ria Stars owner Ria Ledwaba and former newspaper editor Joe Latakgomo.

Motimele is expected to give Safa chief executive Leslie Sedibe a final set of terms of reference and list of his requirements this week.

Sedibe will table Motimele’s requirements at the Safa national executive committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for July 30.

Nematandani confirmed to City Press on Friday that the organisation was taking such action.

“We have appointed a team to look into the matter,” he said. “We tasked Chief Nonkonyana (Safa vice-president who is also an advocate) as the chairperson of the Safa constitutional and legal affairs committee to formulate terms of reference. We then referred the matter to the chief executive (Sedibe).

“I know that he has held a meeting with Motimele and we will discuss his progress report at our next NEC meeting.”

He said the commission was not an attempt at targeting or victimising individuals.

“It’s all about getting the substance of where all this comes from and allowing individuals to come forward with information,” said Nematandani.

Some will tend to differ, though, more especially when they see the section under objectives that reads in part “harmonious working relationships among all structures affiliated to the association, in particular special member, etc”.

Safa has one special member, the PSL.

Sedibe confirmed meeting with Motimele. “We are in the process of finalising the terms of reference and ensuring the credibility and independence of people involved in the commission,” said Sedibe.

There has been tension within Safa structures since Nematandani’s watershed victory in the elections held in September.

Khoza, once regarded as the most powerful individual in South African soccer, stormed out of the elective Safa AGM after he and his adversary, Danny Jordaan, stepped out of the race following a bitter war to prove each other’s ineligibility for the presidency.

The PSL, of which Khoza is chairperson and some Safa regions sympathetic to him, denounced the new leadership.

The commission is seen in some quarters as the final part of a plan by the new leadership to entrench themselves.

First it was the Football Transformation Forum (FTF) – the structure used as a wagon to usher the new leadership into office – holding an AGM at which Jordaan was elected as its president.

Then came the Safa special AGM at which amendments to the constitution were made. These included that the vice-president, who is the chair of the P­SL, cannot hold any other executive position as well as the addition of a fourth vice-president.

Soccer has had three high-profile probes before.

First was the Justice Pickard Commission in 1996, followed by the Motimele Commission (the same advocate Motimele) in 1998 and Operation Dribble in 2004.

Asked about fears of this commission turning into a damp squib like previous probes, Nematandani said: “I hope it will be different as we shouldn’t get into expenses when we are not going to act.”

Khoza’s spokesperson Dominic Ntsele yesterday refused to answer questions saying: “The chairperson is on record saying he does not want to talk on the matter until after the World Cup.”

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