Could Danny Jordaan revitalise Nelson Mandela Bay?

2015-05-19 07:50
Danny Jordaan. Picture: City Press

Danny Jordaan. Picture: City Press

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After weeks of speculation, football administrator Danny Jordaan has been elected mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay.

Other leaders whose names were suggested for the position include former deputy mayor Bix Ndoni, who served on the mayoral committee between 2002 and 2011; Mtwabo Ndude, who also served in the municipality’s mayoral committee; and a former ANC Youth League deputy president, Andile Lungisa.

The Mail & Guardian reported two weeks ago that the ANC was looking to Jordaan to help the party revive its fortunes and retain the fiercely contested Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan municipality.

Jordaan’s new appointment has sparked a debate about his ambitions to become leader of one of two of football’s main bodies – CAF and Fifa.

But he seems to have the backing of South Africa’s top two politicians.

President Jacob Zuma as well as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa were allegedly happy to have Jordaan serve as both football administrator and the mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay.

Last week, Jordaan revealed to City Press that he was “reluctant” to return to politics as his career and ambition to lead CAF and Fifa would be compromised. He also questioned the ANC’s handling of the matter – he would have preferred to have been given enough time to make up his mind.

On Monday afternoon, a source who had spoken to Jordaan said: “He indicated that he would decline the nomination due to his involvement in sports administration. But it looks as though he relented when the deputy president and president went ahead with the nomination after assuring him that his position in football would not be compromised as a result of his deployment.”

Members of the Democratic Alliance in the province were not at ease at ease with the news that Jordaan was to return to provincial politics, and saw him as a threat to their own ambitions of taking over the region.

“One of the provincial leaders of the DA even went as far calling Jordaan so as to ascertain whether he was coming back to provincial politics, but at the time, even Jordaan himself was not certain,” the source said.

The South African Football Association president replaces 83-year-old Ben Fihla who was accused by some local ANC leaders as being “too old to effectively engage with communities”.

There is also talk in political circles that more football administrators and high-profile individuals were set to swell the ranks of ANC politics in order to help stabilise the party.

City Press spoke to ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa who disputed the rumours that more South African Football Association (Safa) personnel had been approached by the ANC to stabilise the party structures elsewhere.

“Danny Jordaan has always been a member of the ANC and was deployed to sports administration as part of the plans of the ANC to transform sports. This position does not take away from his ambitions and existing positions in Fifa, CAF and Safa.”

Kodwa said that, as the mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Jordaan would be working with a team of people in serving the people of Port Elizabeth.

Read more on:    danny jordaan  |  nelson mandela bay  |  safa

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