Insurance money held

2019-02-01 16:05

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Two local families have not received insurance money that was supposed to have been paid out by the South African Football Association (Safa) following the deaths of their family members who had served under the association.

Safa has blamed the delay on legal infighting between rival groups which they hope will now be laid to rest by a court order granted this month.

The affected families are those of the late Thulani Dlamini (58) chairperson and owner of the Mighty Heroes soccer team, and the family of the late Patrick Zuma, founder and manager of the local Arsenal soccer team.

Attempts by The Witness to contact the Zuma family were unsuccessful, but a relative of Dlamini said he died due to kidney failure in August last year, but they are yet to receive the insurance money. “People from Safa came to our home in eNcwadi after his [Dlamini’s] death and advised us to submit an insurance claim to Safa because all the members under Safa are insured,” said the relative, who asked not to be named.

She said after submitting the application they were told that they would be contacted once the R12 500 was paid to the local Safa offices by the insurance company. “We heard rumours from people who work at the offices that the money was paid out in early September, but we were never contacted officially.

“We waited for a couple of months, but no one ever contacted us.

“A few weeks ago, his wife contacted the office and was told that she would be contacted again this week so we are still waiting,” said the relative.

The Dlamini family member told The Witness no one from Safa had contacted them by yesterday afternoon.

A source who works at the regional uMgungundlovu offices told The Witness that the Dlamini insurance money was paid out to Safa on September 4 last year, but alleged Safa’s regional president, Msawenkosi Zondi, instructed employees not to tell the family, and that he did the same when the insurance company paid the insurance money in June intended for the Zuma family.

Zondi, however, strongly denied giving such instructions and said an internal dispute was to blame for the delay.

“The procedure is that once the insurance has paid the money to Safa, we contact the families and check their availability because they do not come to us to collect the money, but we go the family home to pass on our condolences and leave the cheque,” he told The Witness.

Zondi said this has been done with several families in past years who had lost relatives who had served under Safa. He said the problems started last year when they faced internal labour disputes at their uMngungundlovu regional offices.

He said a certain faction within Safa forcibly took control over their offices in October last year. “We were chased out of our offices and they had taken over everything. They took all the cheque books and took all the car keys. All our processes came to a standstill.

“We opened a case with the police and on January 18 this year, the high court ruled that they bring back all the things they took, including the cheque books, and to vacate the offices. They were given 10 working days to do this so until then we can’t really do anything,” said Zondi.

He said if the other faction fails to comply with the court’s order the matter would go back to court.

“I was recently contacted by the Dlamini family and I reassured them that once we are back in our offices and everything has settled we will make sure they have their money. We have a very good record of paying out these monies and we plan to maintain that record.

“I think this is just a smear campaign against me since the court ruled against the other faction,” said Zondi.

Safa’s legal officer Tebogo Motlanthe said uMgungundlovu region acknowledged that the insurance company has indeed paid the money for the families into the regional account.

“Due to a dispute between two groups the cheque book is currently not in possession of the region.

“The regional president further indicated that they are communicating with the families. In terms of the court order they expected to get the cheque book [yesterday] and effect such payments,” said Motlanthe.

Motlanthe added that Zondi had promised to give the national Safa office a written report to this effect.

Read more on:    pietermaritzbrug  |  insurance
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