28 June 2019 – From the outset, it must be stated that these articles are malicious, false, baseless, defamatory and a continuous attempt to destabilise SAFA by certain persons who lost the SAFA elections last year.
It is well understood that SAFA is probably the only sporting organization in this country, that uses a double auditing process for its accounting, in that we have EY internally that manages our accounts, and then we have PwC performing the statutory auditing function at the end of each and every financial year.
The approval of the SAFA Annual Financial Statements follows a rigorous internal process, in terms of our statutes, which require that our Financial Statements has to be approved through the governance’s structures of SAFA, first by the SAFA Finance Committee, then the SAFA Audit and Risk Committee and eventually by the SAFA National Executive Committee – who will then approve submission to the Auditors for their eventual commentary and ultimate audit opinion(s).
The same aforementioned bodies would then prepare their independent reports and submissions to the Annual Congress (which is the highest authority of football in this country) for its eventual approval and or rejection, as the case may be.
The 2017/18 Annual Financial Statements underwent this rigorous process and was approved by the Annual Congress of SAFA on 2 December 2018, and there were many journalists who were at the 2017/18 Annual Congress, who could bear testament to this process.
The very same newspaper that published these malicious, false, baseless and defamatory articles, published a leading article on the financial status of the South African Football Association and its thus strange that the same newspaper now published these malicious, false, baseless, defamatory articles in an attempt to pass them of as an exposé of some sorts on SAFA’s Financial situation.
Furthermore, our financial report is a public document available on our website. On page 37 of the 2017/18 financials, you will see on note 3 that our income for the year has been broken down into details and amounts as follows: revenue from tickets, television rights, host cities, sponsorship, rental, grants from the Legacy Trust and Fun Valley Resort (Technical Centre), and nowhere here (or anywhere else in the financial statements) is there any reflection of the purported amount of R148m (from Government) inserted in our income, as falsely reported by the Sunday Times “..that the football governing body inserted an amount of $10m (R148m) as money in the bank…..”
SAFA in fact wrote to the Sunday Times and journalist who published these articles, “calling upon the Sunday Times to provide substantive evidence to validate the claims they make in this article, or to issue a retraction and unreserved apology to SAFA and the relevant office bearers within 72 hours, failing which SAFA would have no alternative but to seek the necessary relief from the appropriate forums available to it.” and SAFA have yet to receive any form of response from the Sunday Times in this regard.
In addition, as soon as the article became known to SAFA, we immediately referred the matter to the SAFA Interim Independent Integrity Officer (Mr Alex Abercrombie, a retired Acting Judge, retired practising attorney and renowned businessman) for investigation, and are pleased to present his independent report on this matter.
Sunday Times Article: “Safa’s R2.1m own goal” dated 23 June 2019
It is nothing short of mischievousness to create an impression that SAFA President Dr Jordaan unilaterally engaged the Electoral Commission, when in fact their appointment emanates from the highest level of the organisation, the SAFA Congress.
The electoral code under which the 2018 SAFA Elections were held, was introduced by the previous administration and approved by the then SAFA NEC.
During the term of the NEC under the leadership of Dr Jordaan – elected under this Electoral Code in 2013 – they reviewed many issues within the SAFA Statutes, with the view to proposing changes to the SAFA Congress, for the good of the Association.
One such aspect was that of the Electoral Code, which was found to be quite cumbersome and cost intensive. In the light of this, the Legal and Constitutional Committee was tasked to review this Electoral Code, which they duly did.
As is common cause, the 2018 SAFA elections was considered the most contested in SAFA history, and the SAFA NEC believed that any tampering with the Electoral Code prior to the elections, will be viewed in a negative light by stakeholders – who would probably have used the proposed changes as an attack on the sitting SAFA NEC as them wanting to tamper with the electoral process. As a result, we continued with this “cumbersome and cost intensive” process, for the benefit of ensuring that no one can claim that the incumbent SAFA NEC were proposing adjustments to the SAFA Statutes / Electoral Code for self-benefit.
In addition, it must further be pointed out that after SAFA had reached agreement with the IEC to again conduct the SAFA Elections (as they had done previously) they withdrew their services at the 11thhour, causing the Association to institute a plan B. The NEC appointed an Electoral Committee from various respected South African individuals in the business and sporting fraternity, to constitute and Electoral Commission.
These names were then taken to Extraordinary Congresses held on 15 March and 28 April 2018, where these members were duly approved by the SAFA Congress delegates in terms of the decisions reached at these Congresses, to manage the SAFA Elective Congress of 26 May 2018.
During December 2018 (after this SAFA Elective Congress in May 2018), the SAFA Congress held an Extraordinary Congress, and duly amended the Electoral Code to a less cumbersome administrative and cost effective process, which will now be used for future SAFA Elections.
SAFA therefore rejects the aspersions cast against its leadership in this matter, and finds it distasteful that the related publications pursued such matters on the eve of a vital clash of BAFANA BAFANA vs Cote d’Ivoire, in what could only be seen as an effort to detract from the preparations of the team to do well and divert the nation’s attention from supporting their national team.