Safa is going to institute an investigation into allegations of misuse of funds by one of its regional presidents.
This comes in the wake of the Safa West Coast region being the latest football structure to be embroiled in a mismanagement scandal. Some members want incumbent president Gerald Don out, as they accuse the former cop of misappropriation of funds.
In response, Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble said they were taking the allegations seriously and would launch an investigation.
“We will not tolerate any corrupt activities in any of our regions,” warned Mumble. “But we must first investigate the allegations and get all the evidence before we can move forward. We take these allegations seriously and urge those with information to come forward.”
Five sources from the Western Cape structure, who asked not be named for fear of victimisation, claimed Don was not fit to hold office because of a previous conviction for fraud.
The Safa constitution, under article 32, dealing with the national executive – which Don is a part of – reads:
“Members must not have been previously found guilty of a criminal offence and sentenced to a period of imprisonment without the option of a fine and have residency within the territory of the country.”
The football governing body’s electoral code, under article 9, also states that “persons convicted of a crime involving fraud are not eligible for elective office in the association or any of its members”.
However, Mumble said Don was cleared by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to stand for elections.
“We did run his situation with our legal counsel and he was allowed to run for the elections after the IEC said he was eligible.”
The Cape Town football regional association accuses Don of:
. Mismanagement of Fifa Legacy Trust funds – meant for development – “amounting to plus-minus R500 000”;
. Withdrawing monies from the region’s account without permission from the regional executive committee (REC) members;
. Not being accountable for amounts of R200 000 deposited in December, and R125 000 paid in July;
. Having one member who resigned almost two years ago still among the region’s four signatories;
. Failure to confirm a date for the regional elections that were supposed to take place in January; and
. That he should not have been elected president in the first place, as he had a prior fraud conviction.
One of the sources said there were “definitely inconsistencies” in the region’s transactions.
“We are busy with the process to remove him after large amounts of cash were withdrawn from the Safa West Coast account without permission from the REC. We don’t know how much we have received from Safa [nationally] since 2010. [Don] can’t withdraw the money from the account when he hasn’t sat with the committee first. On July 17, an amount of R125 000 was deposited into the region’s account and R110 000 was withdrawn a day later,” said a source.
Another source said: “There were no activities in December, but monies were withdrawn during that period after R200 000 was paid [by Safa national]. We are still trying to establish how much went out since that period, but it could be plus-minus R500 000.”
City Press has seen the region’s letterhead, which still bears the names of former members, including one who resigned almost two years ago but remains among the region’s four signatories.
Confronted with these allegations, Don admitted to having withdrawn monies and having a previous conviction.
He said the accusations were a way to “discredit me because we are going for elections. Anyone who comes up with these allegations must do so on an open platform. Why are they hiding?” a fuming Don asked. “Yes, monies were withdrawn and I will account for every cent. We have a clean audit that I will present before the committee, and we have until December to report to the Legacy Trust.
“I spent my own money in running the region because we never received grants from Safa for two years when Anthony Mlata was the president. I spent R70 000 from my own pocket for the coaching course last month. When Safa pays, I am entitled to take my own money.” He insisted he had nothing to hide.
“I don’t need a cover-up from anyone. What has my criminal record got to do with these [allegations] when the five years had lapsed before I was elected? That is the Companies Act and we are a company. Why was I elected again?”
As for the former member who was still part of the signatories despite having resigned, Don said: “He is never available to accompany us to the bank to make the change. What can we do?”
But a source close to the two projects said: “We never had the referees workshop. It was only early this year that we had a coaching course.”
Don said the referees’ workshop would start soon, with the second phase scheduled for the first week of September.
He said the election date would only be confirmed once the financial report had been approved.