11 July 2023 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has noted the articles written by the Daily Maverick on 10 July 2023 and 11 July 2023, and rejects them as false, malicious and damaging to our reputation.
The articles contained distorted information that cannot go unchallenged as once again, this is a recycling of the same old false information that has been peddled in the past.
1. The Fun Valley / SAFA National Technical Centre matter was previously dealt with in detail and exhausted. The funding was approved by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Board of Trustees. The valuation of the property was also commissioned by the same Board of Trustees and the valuation report was submitted directly to the Trustees before the property was purchased. The purchase of the property complied totally with the governance requirements of the FIFA/SAFA Legacy Trust. A subcommittee of the Trust considered the matter and a letter was written to FIFA to first raise the matter of funding.
SAFA approached the Legacy Trust for funding and were approved. The Trust evaluated the property and approved the funding. The money was transferred into the ENS Trust Account. The contracts were signed after the SAFA NEC approved the purchase following an inspection.
We have all the documents in our possession. ENS was the legal advisor and EY ensured financial compliance, and we are happy to share all these in the courts.
2. With regard to the so-called $10 million FIFA World Cup matter, this dates back to at least 16 Years and was investigated by FIFA and other authorities in different countries.
The money was paid directly by FIFA from Zurich, not SAFA. The 2010 World Cup was awarded in 2004 and the matter was thoroughly investigated in 2015. The matter is closed and no South Africans were identified for any action, and to have made payments. This is a matter between FIFA and the South African Government, and is recognized as such.
3. Grit Communications was engaged by the Association to provide Public Relations services during the period that SAFA was under heavy and continuous media attacks. The first contracted period between Grit and SAFA was 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018. The second contracted period was from 1 October 2018 to 31 August 2019. All the payments to Grit were properly authorised and were done in line with the signed contracts. The report issued by Grit in 2018 to the Acting Chief Executive Officer details the issues that had to be dealt with, which were affecting the Association’s image. We will table these in open court.
4. Badger Security Services was engaged to perform a risk assessment around the Elective Congress which was held on 26 May 2018. They also provided security personnel on the day of the Congress. The acquisition of security services in 2018 was not an exception – extra security measures have always been taken during the SAFA Elections. The need for security around our Conferences has always been a huge factor.
5. With regards to PricewaterhouseCoopers, they perform regular risk assessments on all their clients and during the period they were unhappy with the negative media coverage that SAFA was getting. On that basis they decided to resign as SAFA’s auditors.
However, during the handover to our current auditors, as required by the auditing profession, PwC did not raise any issues regarding SAFA’s financial records.
As you are no doubt aware, we have opened a criminal case against Mr Bart Henderson. We are going to present all the documents in a court of law which will prove that these allegations are false and mischievous.
We have copies of signed contracts, and minutes of decisions that were taken. It is for this reason and the distortions that the SAFA NEC believes this matter should be dealt with in a court of law. We hope that day comes sooner rather than later.