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SOCCER

Safa president Danny Jordaan downplays the organisation’s CEO musical chairs

Safa president Danny Jordaan downplays the organisation’s CEO musical chairs
Outgoing CEO Tebogo Motlanthe (right) endured an awkwardly staged photo op with incoming CEO Lydia Monyepao (left) and Safa president Danny Jordaan after the Motlanthe’s sudden resignation. (Photo: Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images)

Following the recent resignation of Tebogo Motlanthe as the chief executive of the South African Football Association, the organisation’s president Danny Jordaan has defended a conveyor belt of executive replacements.

After the abrupt departure of the South African Football Association (Safa) chief executive, Tebogo Motlanthe, Lydia Monyepao (who was Safa’s chief operations officer) has been appointed as the latest CEO.

Motlanthe – who ascended to the position in January 2021 – followed Dennis Mumble, as well as Gay Mokoena and Russel Paul (who were both acting). He tendered his resignation last week, and after some deliberation, Safa’s national executive committee (NEC) vetted his immediate departure this weekend.

On Monday, during a press conference at the association’s headquarters, Safa boss Jordaan defended the conveyor belt of CEOs.

“Dennis Mumble’s contract ran out in 2018. At that stage he had reached retirement age… Then we had Russel Paul. He received an offer from the Qatar World Cup organising committee [to be involved in the 2022 World Cup]. There was no issue there. It’s normal,” the Safa president told journalists.

“Then we did not have a CEO. The national executive committee decided that Gay Mokoena must act for three months, in which period they would advertise the post and appoint a new CEO,” added Jordaan.

Two years later, Motlanthe is vacating the position as well. Under a dark cloud at that. Reports indicated that a directive to cut staff, as well as feeling like a “glorified clerk” and having a camera planted in his office were among the reasons for his departure.

However, the former CEO dismissed these reports as false during the media gathering at Safa’s Nasrec headquarters.

“I have tendered my resignation and I have sent a letter [of that resignation]. The ones that are one that’s on social media? I would like to categorically say it’s not my letter. My one has a signature and my reasons. Which are simple: personal and private,” Motlanthe told journalists before vacating the venue at the speed of light.

“I don’t have any bad blood with anyone. Including the president. We worked well with him. He has been a father and he has guided me. It’s just a personal decision which I have taken.”

Monyepao becomes the first woman to occupy the CEO position for Safa. She had previously applied for the post, but lost out to Motlanthe two years ago.

Monyepao previously worked for Tuks Sport and has a BCom degree from Wits University and an honours degree in accounting from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

She also has a master’s in sport management she obtained in the UK, while she has worked as Banyana Banyana manager. She also played for the national team.

Despite the instability of the position, Monyepao said she was planning to make her personal mark and was unperturbed by the trend of CEO departures.

“I am capable of hitting the ground running, I will accept the task and take the work forward. I am not naive in terms of what is required for this job. I know the challenges that have surrounded any CEO of Safa, I am not blind to that,” Monyepao said.

“But as indicated, no job is easy. You have to take it as it comes and apply what you are good at, and what you are capable of.”

Jordaan said Safa would soon announce details of a bid to host the 2027 Women’s Fifa World Cup. DM

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