Johannesburg - The SA Football Association (SAFA) insisted on Saturday that they were not under investigation from the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
This follows media reports throughout that week that the football controlling body was being investigated on a number of administrative and financial management issues.
SAFA said there was no such probe and instead said the only thing that was due to happen was a meeting between the two bodies. The association said it had received a letter on February 13 addressed to its president Kirsten Nematandani. The letter from Sascoc chief executive was titled ‘Meeting request to address various issues within SAFA’.
According to SAFA, the letter indicated that the Minister of Sport and Recreation, the Honourable Fikile Mbalula, wanted clarity on certain issues from SAFA and had asked SASCOC to convene a meeting where these issues would be addressed. This meeting has been tentatively scheduled for Friday 9th March.
The letter also stated that the SASCOC Transformation, Ethics and Dispute Resolution Commission, under the leadership of Mr Mubarak Mahomed, a former SAFA vice-president who had lost his position on the SAFA executive committee during the elections in 2009, had been asked to “ascertain the relevant facts around the areas of concern”.
“This letter was maliciously leaked to the media, and it has now been reported that SAFA is under investigation by SASCOC at the instigation of the Minister. The President of SAFA, Mr Kirsten Nematandani, had previously received a letter directly from the Minister of Sport, the Honourable Fikile Mbalula, in which the Minister requested a meeting with the SAFA executive to discuss these matters. This letter, too, makes no reference whatsoever to an investigation, as is now being claimed by Mr Reddy,” said Safa in a statement.
Below is the rest of the statement from SAFA.
Furthermore, when the SAFA CEO, Dr Robin Petersen, was alerted by the media to the leaked letter, and to the article that was due to be published the following day, he called Mr Reddy and asked him directly whether SAFA was “under investigation”. Mr Reddy stated unequivocally that we were not under investigation, but were, as his letter stated, being called to a meeting and were being asked to cooperate with the Commission tasked to gather the relevant information in preparation for the meeting. Dr Petersen asked him to call the journalist to correct this fact. Not only did he not do this, but the following day he also exacerbated the matter by publicly stating that SAFA is indeed “under investigation” in direct contradiction not only of the letter he himself had sent, but in contradiction of what he had stated the day before.
SAFA therefore takes strong exception to the statements now made by the CEO of SASCOC that SAFA is under investigation, and will not cooperate with any such investigation as currently constituted. We remain ready to meet with the Minister and the leadership of SASCOC as originally requested, and to provide the Minister with any information that he requests.
With regards to the allegations that funds from the FIFA Legacy trust have been squandered, SAFA would like to state this is completely without foundation, and to clarify the fact that the Trust has in fact not started to disburse funds. The board of trustees will meet in April to finalise the methodology for the disbursements of funds. The disbursement of all funds from the FIFA 2010 World Cup are controlled by an external financial platform located at Ernst and Young (E&Y) which involves FIFA and the other Trustees of the Legacy Fund. FIFA has confirmed this in their own press statement which was released yesterday (Friday, 17 February 2012).
“We are concerned that the CEO of SASCOC, who is meant to protect the interests of Members, is now himself damaging the reputation of SAFA and fanning the flames of negative media perceptions of the organisation. We question his bona fides in this serious matter, as the meeting is yet to be held. This matter will be raised with the President and the Board of SASCOC,” stated Kirsten Nematandani, the President of SAFA.