8 February 2019 – SAFA has observed a worrying pattern of unsubstantiated claims that are the often uncorroborated. Further to this, when the claims are proven to be false they are never corrected.
It is incumbent on us in the organisation to ensure the integrity of the organisation and its reputation is protected. SAFA, with the support of its structures will pursue the strongest legal action against individuals who continue to attempt to create confusion and undermine SAFA’s democratic mandate.
This pattern has been established since the 2009 elections, and has remained in place until now. This is evidenced by the recent unfounded claims made by Leslie Sedibe with an unsigned affidavit at the time of publishing the report, an astounding lapse of judgement by the media, who published the article.
Since 2009, there have been many attempts aimed at the destabilisation of SAFA:
2009 Elections brought legal challenges to the election process:
The matter was dealt with by the Supreme Court Judge Zulman and ended with Kirsten Nematandani being elected unopposed as President of SAFA.
In the post 2013 election period, former disgruntled officials who lost their positions during the elections, called on SASCOC and the SA Government to institute a forensic audit, despite SAFA having unqualified audits. This was done through a so “leaked dossier”, that was immediately dismissed by the National Prosecuting Authority because it lacked substance. However, it was published by certain media organisations, even though, upon inspection, it read like a gossip Whatsapp chat.
The 2018 election was rife with smear campaigns and no considerations of facts. This tactic resulted in postponed elections, against the wishes of the SAFA Members and its extended membership (Regions / Associate Members / Local Football Associations). Some of the protagonist of this perceived chaos eventually apologised to their colleagues for the way they conducted themselves.
In this context, the spurious Leslie Sedibe case must be understood noting too the following cases that were opened against SAFA.
- The Fli-Afrika claim of R18 million
- South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) v SAFA
- National Soccer League v SAFA in the OUTSurance Case
- Leslie Sedibe v SAFA Defamation claim of R5 million
In the case of Leslie Sedibe, SAFA has referred the matter to our legal counsel, as to how we should be deal with, in order to protect the integrity of the Association and its leadership.
It is therefore incumbent upon people/members entrenched in the legitimate, democratic structures of SAFA, to be vigilant against the efforts of those trying to destabilise football and its programs and we must all therefore unite to protect the democratic process and structures of football in this country.
SAFA can also confirm that it continues to keep FIFA informed on all of the above matters.