Johannesburg - Former South African Football Association (Safa) vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana believes he can get South African football back on track.
Nonkonyana revealed a few days ago that he was approached to run for the Safa presidency in the elections in March. He will contest the highest position in South African football with incumbent Danny Jordaan, who last month got the backing of more than 30 regions to run for his second term.
The forthright Nonkonyana said he was confident of getting more votes to propel him to the top.
Electing new leadership
He said the current Safa leadership had failed the country and there was a need for change.
“Safa needs new energy and new brains and I am prepared to lead that team. I would not have accepted the nomination if I didn’t believe I stood a chance of winning,” said Nonkonyana.
“I am happy that people have shown confidence in me and I have accepted their nomination. I believe there is a lot that still needs to be done in South African football,” he said.
“We cannot fold our arms when things are not going well".
He said the constituency had a choice of either sticking with the old regime or electing new leadership.
“Remember, I was there when we started the FTF [football transformation forum] and drafted its policies, but now people are no longer adhering to its principles.
“It is all about personalities and purging those who are not toeing the line,” said Nonkonyana.
He said South Africa had not progressed since hosting the World Cup in 2010.
“All the countries are better off since hosting the event,” he said.
The US was languishing at the bottom of world football when it hosted the event in 1994, but went on to become one of the best in the world after that.
“The same applies to Germany, but South Africa is going backwards".
He said he had acquired enough experience since the days of the OK League to take the country’s favourite sport forward.
“I was the chairperson of the best Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 and I also served on the Fifa World Cup local organising committee board. I am also passionate about development, which is lacking in South African football".
He declined to reveal the regions that were backing him for the job.
“It would be suicidal for the regions to engage openly at this stage because they will be threatened with suspensions if they come out in the open".
He said he would announce his team in the next few days.
Nonkonyana was expelled from the association in 2014 after being accused of flouting Safa rules following his comments about former Bafana coach Gordon Igesund. He is still fighting his expulsion in court.