Ncobo Calls For Postponement Of Safa Elections

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JOHANNESBURG: Former South African match referee Andile ‘Ace’ Ncobo has called on the South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan to resign. 

The Safa official insisted that the elections go ahead as planned later this month. 

Ncobo is set to contest for the Safa presidential elections with Jordaan and the former has released a statement voicing out his concerns. The former Premier Soccer League (PSL) general manager also confirmed that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will not oversee the presidential elections.

In a letter issued by Ncobo, he said: “Following a drawn out process of going through the FIFA, CAF and SAFA Statutes and Electoral Codes, at the end of which it became clear that several constitutional imperatives were grossly violated in preparing for the SAFA Elective Congress scheduled for the 24th of March 2018, I decided to write to the IEC which had been appointed to oversee the electoral processes.” 

“I wrote to the IEC after exchanging numerous emails with the SAFA CEO, Mr Dennis Mumble, who also acts as the Secretary of the Electoral Committee, bringing to his attention some of these gross violations of processes.

“When it became apparent that SAFA was hell-bent on proceeding with an elective congress whose very convocation earlier than the initial date was initiated with motives that had nothing to do with football, I was left with no option but to address my concerns to other authoritative bodies. One of those was the IEC itself,” he said. 

“The IEC has today, the 9th of March 2018, responded to my letter dated 6th March 2018 and confirmed its decision to terminate its involvement in SAFA elections,” Ncobo said.

“The Commission had initially acceded to the request to assist with these elections as requested in the correspondence signed by Mr Mumble on 8 January 2018 subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions which were communicated to SAFA.”

“Subsequent to your letter of 6 March 2018, the Commission became cognizant of unresolved matters within SAFA with respect to these elections and has henceforth withdrawn its consent to provide the requested assistance.”, wrote the IEC in its response to me.

Without an Electoral Committee SAFA is left with no option but to postpone these elections and retrace its steps such that the election processes are correctly followed. Article 4 (3) of the Electoral Code prescribes that the Electoral Committee must be elected at a general assembly at least six months before an elective congress. Since that is the first step to be performed, this means the election cannot take place earlier than six months.

In a reply to one of my various emails whose stated objective was to assist SAFA to realize that it had violated its own Statutes, Mr Mumble replied, “The SAFA Congress took a unanimous decision to appoint the IEC as the Electoral Committee and they ran the 2013 elections without incident”.

This is despite the express prohibition of this step as prescribed in Article 5 of the Electoral Code (Footnote 2) which states that, “Election (of the Electoral Committee) by the general assembly makes it possible to ensure greater transparency and impartiality and to avoid the possibility of a body of SAFA appointing or nominating the Electoral Committee…”.

There are various other serious violations besides this one but I have elected to first make a submission to FIFA before disclosing them.

Once FIFA acknowledges receipt thereof I shall be in a position to share with the media and the public what those violations are.

I hope that President Danny Jordaan and his executive will accept this as an opportunity to accept that the Statutes of the Association reign supreme over any individual or a group of individuals who happen to hold positions of power.

This is hopefully a lesson that holding an absolute majority in the executive structure does not grant anyone the right to violate statutes via a show of hands.

I am sure the football loving public will await eagerly the decision of the current SAFA President to resign from his position. His primary task is to uphold and respect the constitution of SAFA.

For him to be complicit in its violation is a serious indictment on his leadership and continued involvement with the Association.

I hope that the members of SAFA from all regions will understand that mine is a minor role just to point out the anomalies, but it is up to them to use the power of their vote, wisdom, knowledge and love for the beautiful game to steer SAFA back to the right path.