Call for an emergency meeting to defuse Safa leadership squabbles

Safa President Danny Jordaan
Safa President Danny Jordaan

Safa vice-president Xolile Nkompela wants the association’s emergency committee to deal with the simmering leadership tensions.

In a letter to members, which City Press has seen, Nkompela asked them to exercise restraint and said he would request Safa president Danny Jordaan to convene the emergency committee soon.

The committee is made up of the president, his four deputies and two additional members.

Nkompela’s letter was in response to two letters sent to executive members this week pertaining to the issue of former acting chief executive Gay Mokoena, who is also a vice-president of the association.

His was a reaction to another letter sent to the members asking them to either vote on a precautionary suspension of Mokoena, or for the matters be referred to a senior counsel or retired judge to investigate the alleged breaches. The letter also said “that the Fifa ethics committee be requested to investigate the alleged breaches”.

READ: Tim Spirit | It’s about time Safa was investigated

In his “Mokoena Report”, Mokoena accused Jordaan of flouting the Safa constitution several times on matters of staff appointments and governance.

But general manager of legal, compliance and membership affairs advocate Tebogo Motlanthe, in a letter to members, said Jordaan has refuted all the allegations levelled against him.

Part of the Safa letter, which City Press has seen, reads: “We have received communications from several NEC members to the effect that Mr Mokoena should be placed on a precautionary suspension until the matter is fully investigated and reported to the NEC. The [Mokoena] Report has had the effect of bringing the NEC into disrepute with calls for the dismissal of the entire NEC.”

The members were asked to vote on one option by close of business on Monday. But Mokoena hit back through his lawyers, threatening legal action if the members went ahead with either decision.

“Should the NEC proceed to suspend our client this letter notwithstanding, our client will approach the high court for an order setting aside his unlawful suspension.

“Costs will be sought against each NEC member and advocate Motlanthe, jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved and on a punitive scale in respect of those members of the NEC who votes in favour of suspending our client.

“Our client trusts that this will not be necessary and that each member of the NEC will individually reflect on the content of this letter to ensure that he/she is acting lawfully and in full compliance with the Safa statutes,” read the letter from Lawtons Africa law firm.

“We confirm that article 34 does not empower the NEC to even contemplate the suspension of our client in his capacity as vice-president. The advancement of such proposal by advocate Motlanthe to the NEC is in breach of Safa’s articles of association and accordingly unlawful.

“Furthermore, advocate Motlanthe has no standing under the articles of association to even advance such proposal as he has done in his letter of May 2 2020 [in an instance where the NEC had the necessary authority which it does not possess].”

But Nkompela has asked for cool heads and suggested the emergency committee would be the right platform to deal with the matter.

Reads his letter to the members: “Having received the report from the vice-president Mr Gay Mokoena and having seen the response from the president of the association [Jordaan], it is premature for NEC members to discuss this over social networks as it is unnecessary for the round-robin decision to suspend the vice-president of the association Mr Mokoena.

“This is an urgent matter that needs the urgent sitting of the emergency committee for it to process it for the NEC as it is supposed to be the case. I telephonically raised this to the president [Jordaan] and agreed that the NEC members must stop discussing this until it is properly processed.

“There is no reason for NEC members to panic because our constitution provides solutions when there are challenges. As the vice-president, l don’t even know who initiated the process to suspend the former [acting] CEO, Mr Mokoena.

“The request from the regional presidents is not supposed to be there because the matter has not yet been discussed by the emergency committee or by the NEC. The regions usually get reports through the proper channels, so let us all respect our statutes,” Nkompela wrote.

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