Both the SA Football Association’s (Safa) vice-presidents were removed in an apparently dramatic and emotional national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Saturday.
Long-time SA football administrator Ria Ledwaba was removed by the NEC, the official reason being that she had written a letter to sports minister Nathi Mthethwa asking for intervention in the manner in which some controversial affairs had been handled, specifically by Safa president Danny Jordaan.
TimesLIVE is informed that Ledwaba was specifically unhappy with the response that came in the wake of a damning report sent to the NEC by former acting CEO Gay Mokoena.
The second vice-president removed on Saturday was Mokoena. His axing is less surprising and the official reasoning given by Safa was that it was related to the report he authored.
“Don’t forget the VPs are appointed by the NEC. They are not elected by the congress,” Safa communications director Dominic Chimhavi said late on Saturday night, confirming the dismissals of both vice-presidents.
“And as a result the decision that was taken by the NEC was unanimous to say their contract is not serving football. It’s self-serving.
“As a result it was resolved, unanimously, that they should be removed from their positions.”
TimesLIVE was told the matter of Ledwaba’s letter to the sports minister had been raised by Mthethwa in an online Zoom meeting also attended by Jordaan.
Chimhavi confirmed the letter was the reason for Ledwaba’s dismissal.
“Ja, but you know, football matters are resolved within football. You can’t ask for political interference,” he said. “And if you do that you are breaching one of the fundamental laws of the game.”
Mokoena had been asked to stand down by Jordaan after several differences between the two. The acting CEO did so on April 15.
A detailed report making several allegations against Jordaan sent by Mokoena to Safa’s NEC was subsequently leaked to the media.
Chimhavi was asked for confirmation that Mokoena’s removal as vice-president — a position he had continued to occupy after standing down as acting CEO — came as a result of his damning report.
“Not a damning report — it’s a report which was found to be not factual and it was dismissed as well,” Chimhavi said.
The removal of the two vice-presidents apparently created a morbid atmosphere in Safa.
Successive bombshell reports making startling allegations of abuse of office against Jordaan have emerged this year, as a second, 71-page document from former CEO Denis Mumble, followed the one released by Mokoena.
These have apparently rocked the association to its foundation.
An insider who did not want to be named said there had been widespread unhappiness at the removal of Mokoena as acting CEO in April and the manner in which the fallout from his removal had been dealt with.
This comes at a time when retrenchments, though denied by Safa, seem imminent at the cash-strapped association amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic