Sport

SOCCER SCANDAL

Safa, Danny Jordaan maintain innocence amid Hawks probe

Safa, Danny Jordaan maintain innocence amid Hawks probe
Safa president Danny Jordaan at the home of the late Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker in Durban on 12 June 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan recently spoke out for the first time since the Hawks raided Safa House in early March.

Despite being the central subject of a legal probe into the South African Football Association’s (Safa) affairs, the organisation’s president for more than a decade, Danny Jordaan, is confident that he will finish his third term.

Jordaan fended off competition from one of his former vice-presidents, Ria Ledwaba, as well as president of Safa Tshwane Solly Mohlabeng to win the 2022 elections emphatically.

Since then Ledwaba and Mohlabeng have fought to have the election outcome declared null and void, on the basis that they believe constitutional processes were flouted before and during the elections two years ago.

However, the pair were unsuccessful in their bid to have the matter referred for arbitration. In February 2024, the Pretoria High Court ruled in favour of Safa/Jordaan. Mohlabeng is now the subject of an internal disciplinary hearing for taking the association to court.

All is well

Following Safa’s 32nd ordinary congress on 13 April, Jordaan was bullish about the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) swooping in at Safa House at the beginning of March.

During the national executive committee (NEC) meeting preceding the congress Safa discussed the Hawks’ raid at its headquarters, which was the result of an ongoing inquest by the investigative unit into Safa’s financial affairs.

The Hawks said they were executing warrants related to allegations of “fraud and theft amounting to R1.3-million” at Safa, although many more millions have allegedly been squandered by the association since Jordaan was elected president in 2013.

Safa has labelled the raid “illegal and unlawful”, which is why it has lodged a letter of complaint to the Hawks’ oversight judge about the manner in which the raid was conducted. The association has also taken the matter for review, in the hope that it will be set aside.

“All is well. That is what our members say and that is our report to our members. And they are happy,” Jordaan told journalists.  

Read more in Daily Maverick: The Hawks swoop in at Safa House following claims of malfeasance and corruption

Read more in Daily Maverick: Hawks’ raid means Safa will finally have its day in court

In spite of numerous allegations against him over the years, Jordaan has stubbornly maintained his innocence. He has insinuated in the past that his biggest critics are former members of the association who are bitter.   

The Hawks’ operation was the result of criminal charges laid by Willie Mooka, a former NEC member, in 2020. 

“As we have said, the raid by the Hawks was illegal, unlawful, and we are going to the courts… So let us wait for that. You will see when it unfolds what actually is the matter,” a defiant Jordaan stated.

Safa Danny Jordaan

Safa president Danny Jordaan at an international friendly match between South Africa and DR Congo at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on 12 September 2023. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images)

“As far South African football is concerned… this is our best period in the history of South African football. When last did we have a women’s team as African champions and your men’s team No 3 [at the Africa Cup of Nations]? When?” he asked.

Jordaan also said they had nothing to hide with regards to their finances. He insisted that their financial records were impeccable, despite allegations that Safa’s finances are being abused, with the president at the centre of these allegations.

In fact, one of the items seized by the Hawks during their raid was the laptop of Safa’s chief financial officer, Gronie Hluyo.  

Jordaan said the association had an unqualified audited financial statement for the financial year under review.

“Safa CFO Gronie Hluyo and the chairman of the finance committee, Mxolisi Sibam, submitted the report and it was accepted by the congress. This is the 32nd congress of Safa and for 32 years Safa has every year delivered audited financial statements to each congress,” Jordaan said.

“We have not skipped one year where we didn’t have an audited financial statement, and unqualified. So that is just our record on finances. So, there are no issues. No problems.” DM

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