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SA Football Association blasts corruption allegations leveled at Danny Jordaan-plots legal action

SA Football Association blasts corruption allegations leveled at Danny Jordaan-plots legal action
Safa president Danny Jordaan. (Photo: Lee Warren / Gallo Images)

Safa is taking forensic investigator Bart Henderson to court over his forensic report, which lays out alleged misdemeanours within the organisation, with a particular focus on president Danny Jordaan.  

The South African Football Association (Safa) says it is taking Bart Henderson to court for defamation and contravening the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia).

In June 2023 Henderson — who is a fraud and reputational risk management advisor by profession — published a forensic report which alleged numerous irregularities within Safa. With the finger largely pointed at the association’s president Danny Jordaan.

“Safa has been rocked by fraud and corruption scandals for well over a decade. First gaining international prominence in 2011, when investigations revealed several of host country South Africa’s national team matches leading up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup were bought,” reads the report by Henderson.

“Scandals have persisted into the 2020s. Safa has been accused of financial mismanagement and misuse of funds. Including improper handling of financial resources, irregularities in financial reporting, undisclosed expenses, and inadequate financial controls by a passing parade of vice presidents and CEOs,” it states.

‘We are innocent’

In a press conference held at the organisation’s headquarters on Friday, 7 July, Safa vehemently denied the allegations contained in the Henderson report.

However, the press briefing was peculiar in that the attending journalists were not permitted to ask questions from the panel gathered, as the briefing was branded an “information-sharing exercise” on the matter of “subjudice.”

Instead, Safa officials — including vice-president Bennett Bailey, CEO Lydia Monyepao and CFO Gronie Hluyo — shared passionate monologues proclaiming the organisation’s and Jordaan’s innocence of these allegations.

“As the CFO representing Safa, I would like to confirm that we’ve gone through the so-called Henderson investigation report. We’ve gone through it in detail,” Hluyo said during his speech.

“I can tell you now that we’re going to prove in court that that report is fabrication of our information. So yes, we confirm that he’s [Henderson] got our information, but that information is fabricated. And we’re going to prove that in court. We have all the documents. We are ready for the court case. We are ready to prove the allegations in court.”

Safa’s legal representative Lesedi Mphahlele said a case against Henderson had been filed at the Booysens police station in the south of Johannesburg. Bailey further reiterated that the association is guilt free of any such allegations.

“There’s always another side to a story. There’s never one side. One person said there’s one side, another side, and the truth. I say, no, there are two sides. The truth is the other side. There’s a negative and a positive, there’s nothing in between,” Bailey stated.

Of course, this latest development follows a chaotic couple of weeks for Safa which saw a standoff between themselves and the women’s senior national soccer side — Banyana Banyana.

The major talking point was a financial one, which eventually led to South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe and his wife Precious Moloi-Motsepe intervening and putting up an undisclosed fee to settle the tiff, through the Motsepe Foundation.

This latest episode of Safa drama is just another instalment of the chaos which has become commonplace during Jordaan’s 10-year tenure as Safa president.

In the past, former CEOs Dennis Mumble and Gay Mokoena, amongst many others, have accused Jordaan of being a dictator and a bully who has turned Safa into his own fiefdom.  

“As soon as you do not agree with the president, you are enemy number one,” former Safa vice-president Ria Ledwaba revealed on 702’s SportsTalk in 2020.

Reputational damage

During this time and all these allegations, Safa’s image and public perception have taken a knock. A reality that current CEO Monyepao acknowledged during her presentation at Safa House on Friday.

“It’s necessary that we protect the brand of football, the brand of the South African Football Association as well,” the Safa chief executive told journalists.

“Ultimately it impacts on us and our engagements with corporate sponsors. Because we are always looking for further funding for our various projects,” Monyepao added.

“If corporates can’t come on board because of people saying negative things about the association, that cannot be proven, it impacts on us attracting more funds on board. Meaning that we do not have sufficient funds to do the various programs that we need to do.”

Despite these latest denials from Safa, as the famous saying goes, where there is smoke there is likely to be fire. And there has been smoke for many years now at Safa House. DM

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