The fight for the South African Football Association presidency looks to be a messy one, as three candidates attempt to unseat incumbent Danny Jordaan.
Just this week, SAFA Vice-President Ria Ledwaba was, effectively, prevented from attending a launch event for her bid, after she was warned by the national association not to address the media or public until all the candidates were cleared by the governance committee.
Ledwaba was advised by her legal representative, Leruma Thobejane, not to address the launch, as she faced suspension or expulsion.
“We received a circular last week to prohibit Ria from going ahead and addressing this gathering,” Thobejane said. “We had a lengthy consultation and as her legal representative, I advised her that if the waters are muddied, do not drink. She was insisting on coming to speak because the media, the guests and the public were already invited. I apologise that we denied for people to hear her because of a legal principle.”
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Three candidates have been nominated by SAFA members to oppose current President Jordaan, but there are reports that the trio stand to be disqualified by the governance committee. This may leave Jordaan with no opposition.
The trio are Ledwaba, former Vice-President Nomsa Mahlangu, and outspoken SAFA Tshwane President Ngoako “Solly” Mohlabeng.
Ledwaba is a well-known figure in South African football. The Limpopo businesswoman is a former owner of PSL club Ria Stars and has held various positions in football and other sporting codes. She was also part of the FIFA 2010 Legacy Fund.
Mohlabeng was recently kicked out of a SAFA congress in Sandton and later charged with misconduct by the SAFA disciplinary committee. He was led out of the venue after he insisted on making a point of order, which was not allowed by the chairperson.
Jordaan, a former CEO of SAFA and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee, is gunning for a third term as the national association’s President.
SAFA’s elective congress takes place in Sandton on the 25th of June.