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Trouble brewing at Safa over Danny Jordaan’s ‘own agenda’

Trouble brewing at Safa over Danny Jordaan’s ‘own agenda’
Safa president Danny Jordaan. (Photo: Lee Warren / Gallo Images)

The Hawks are starting to ask questions and the Master of the High Court has been asked to investigate.

A revolt is brewing at the South African Football Association (Safa). The president of the organisation, Danny Jordaan, is fighting for his survival as some of his colleagues, some suspended, some removed, accuse him of corrupting the organisation and causing it to lose its intended focus and direction, and credibility.

Adding to Jordaan’s woes and those of some of his colleagues, this week the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, confirmed that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is “requesting information from persons of interest” at Safa.

Speaking to DM168, Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale confirmed that Safa was being investigated, but would not be drawn into divulging details.

“At this stage the prosecution has requested information from persons of interest in order to ascertain their various degrees of involvement in benefiting from the Safa account. This matter is a prosecution-led investigation. As and when there are arrests to be communicated, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation will do so,” Mogale said. 

Personal benefit?

A suspended former NEC member, Malesele “Willie” Mooka, was forthright.

“I have personally laid charges against Mr Danny Jordaan for the unlawful and unauthorised payment of [an amount of R40,000] to a security company for his personal security.

“I have also laid charges for the Fun Valley Project, bought for Safa, in which the president inflated its sale value from R30-million to R65-million, with the aim of personal benefit.”

Mooka also said money was paid to a public relations company to “clean up Jordaan’s image” when he faced a rape charge a few years ago. “He needs to account for that, too,” Mooka said.

He also said: “I am a victim of my own willingness to blow the whistle when things go wrong in my organisation. Our hope is that the investigation will leave no stone unturned in unravelling the graft at Safa.”

Several attempts to contact Jordaan and Safa’s CEO, Tebogo Motlanthe, to get Safa’s side of the story drew a blank as they failed to respond to messages asking for their comments.

Compounding the matter for Safa and Jordaan is that one of Safa’s vice-presidents and NEC member Elvis Shishana has written to the master of the high court to demand that Jordaan be investigated for “misleading” the Safa NEC.

Jordaan is alleged to have misled the NEC on 2 October 2021 when he untruthfully “presented to the meeting [which he had convened] that Fifa had requested the removal of the Safa NEC representatives on the 2010 Fifa Legacy Trust without any formal written request from Fifa”.

Shishana said: “Some of us were quite surprised when we received a report that the Safa president, at a meeting of the national executive committee, announced that he was instructed by Fifa to remove all the trustees nominated by Safa, except one.

“And [we were surprised] that Fifa chose to leave two of its nominees to remain as trustees. In this regard, the Safa meeting decided to leave Mr Clive Grinaker as a sole nominee for reasons that were not disclosed to the rest of the trustees.”

Shishana said this so-called decision by Fifa was repudiated by the world football organisation in subsequent correspondence, distancing itself from Jordaan’s misleading claim.

“When Fifa learned of the decision to remove the Safa nominees, Fifa wrote to all trustees strongly registering its disagreement with Safa’s actions and recommended that Safa reverse its decisions,” Shishana said.

“However, this did not happen as anticipated and no subsequent meeting of the trust was called.”

Lack of oversight

Shishana said in his letter to the master of the high court, whose mission includes safeguarding the rights of trust beneficiaries, that he was deeply concerned by the application filed by Safa “for a grant of R40-million, which was considered and approved”.

He said the application was approved on the basis that it would be committed to the following programmes:

  • Women’s Super League: R10-million
  • Local Football Associations: R7.14-million
  • Men’s Regional League: R7.15-million
  • Women’s Regional League: R6-million
  • High Performance Centre: R10-million

Shishana said the decision by Jordaan, in which he “incorrectly” claimed he had been instructed by Fifa “to remove all the trustees”, was troubling. Shishana said there was no transparency and the transactions involving huge sums of money were clouded in secrecy, “and this is worrisome”.

“As a result of all of this, and with the full knowledge of the Trust Property Control Act, I wish to express my extreme discomfort with Mr Jordaan’s actions and its genesis immediately following our urgent requests for details of the transactions by the trust,” Shishana told the master of the high court.

Jordaan was approached over several days by DM168 for comment but did not respond to messages.

Jordaan’s stay at Safa is becoming increasingly tenuous, as his challenges and those of his organisation mount. Shishana’s approach to the master of the high court was, he says, a last resort. He said he took seriously the applicable legislative provisions relating to the duty of care, diligence and skills expected of the trustees.

“I have been advised that in the performance of our duties and the exercise of our powers, we have a duty to act with care, diligence and skill which can reasonably be expected of a person who manages the affairs of another,” Shishana said.

“It is my understanding that the master of the high court may call upon trustees to account for their activities in terms of the law, and in accordance with the master’s requirements for the administration and disposal of trust property.

“The master may … cause an investigation to be carried out by some fit and proper person appointed by him into the trustee’s administration and the disposal of the trust property.”

He said on the basis “of our unlawful removal as trustees” he wished the master to … order an investigation into the affairs of the trust.

Says Shishana in his letter to the master of the high court: “The trust is a brainchild of Fifa and was formed immediately at South Africa’s successful hosting of the World Cup to ensure that the proceeds from the hosting of the event are ploughed back into the development of football in the country.”

As if this were not enough, there could be more coming Safa’s way, including a possible class action suit filed against the organisation – motivated by, among other things, the deep-seated feeling of disenchantment among marginalised members, who complain that Safa’s affairs have been “centralised around one person, and that person is Danny Jordaan”.

There is a concerted effort among ordinary Safa members for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the affairs of the organisation. DM168

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper which is available for R25 at Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books and airport bookstores. For your nearest stockist, please click here.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Just Me says:

    A bunch of corrupt men running SAFA. Time for change. The SAFA board needs to be at least 50% female and be representative of the SA population with people that are 100% beyond reproach.

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