Cape Town - As if the bombshell allegation of bribery relating to
securing the hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup was not enough, the comment by
former SAFA president Molefi Oliphant that incumbent Danny Jordaan had
"betrayed" him in a one-sided release of correspondence, has inserted a new and sinister development
to the fracas.
Oliphant reportedly told South Africa's Sunday Times he
had lost his cool with Jordaan in one
recent meeting after he confirmed the contents of the letter dated March 4, 2008 written by himself to FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke requesting that
$10 million from the World Cup budget be diverted to Concacaf, the
organisation controlled at the time by the notorious Jack Warner.
Oliphant, said the Sunday Times, believed it was Jordaan
who had initially leaked the context of Oliphant's letter, while remaining
silent about the letter he had himself written to Valcke earlier in December
2007 suggesting FIFA make the $10 million payment - in view of the South African government
reluctance to pay this agreed amount directly.
Oliphant added that he was "angry, shocked and
disappointed" that Jordaan had made
no mention of his own letter written almost five months earlier, actually suggesting the revised manner of the $10 million payment.
Oliphant and Jordaan have denied they leaked each other's letters to the
media. But this poses the question: How then did a number of diverse sections
of the media obtain information of Jordaan's
and Oliphant's letters to Valcke at
similar times - and who indeed was the
whistle blower or whistle blowers?
But the falling out of friends (sic) and its implications
has not ended there, with the government declaring that a parliamentary report
on the bribery issue due for May 23 would be delivered by Minister of Sport
Fikile Mbalula and Mbalula alone.
Mbalula had no connection with the sport portfolio during
the period in question and most believe that Jordaan and Oliphant and other
members of the local bid committee were best equipped to answer the questions
of wrongdoing raised by the FBI in the United States.
In the circumstances, it was difficult disputing the
argument that Jordaan, Oliphant and sundry others were being protected from the grilling they would
surely have faced from members of the Democratic Alliance and other opposition
parties in parliament.
Similarly the reasons emanating from Jordaan as to why he
withdrew at the last minute from attending the fateful FIFA congress in Zurich
at which the Machiavellian Sepp Blatter was elected for a fifth presidential
term were unconvincing.
term lasted only four days before he resigned under the pressure of mounting
worldwide opinion on the role he had
played in FIFA's bribery scandal or, at least, why he had done nothing to stop
the seeds of corruption taking root and spreading.
Jordaan had recently been installed as ANC mayor of the
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and he used business in this guise for not
going to the fateful Fifa congress. But as president of SAFA you would imagine he was obligated to go
to Zurich - or otherwise deemed as not
fulfilling his functions with the soccer body.
Was Jordaan scared
off by the prospect of being arrested by FBI agents as has been suggested, or,
at least, faced with an interrogation of fierce intensity.
And so the rumblings of impropriety continue with many
unanswered questions, like the one as to why $10 million should have been
donated to Concacaf with Warner to administer in the first place, all coming up
with lame and unconvincing answers.