Something is amiss at SAFA regions

2018-03-18 06:04

Johannesburg - Three football officials have expressed concern about the state of affairs at their respective SA Football Association (SAFA) branches.

SAFA is made up of 52 regions and is due to hold an elective congress on Saturday.

Ananias Memela, former secretary of the Harry Gwala region in KZN, claims he was expelled for blowing the whistle on cases of fraud and theft.

Jozini Local Football Association treasurer Tallman Sibiya - whose structure is one of four that make up the Umkhanyakude region - has asked for the executive committee to be sacked.

Collin Bosman, chairperson of the Sol Plaatje Local Football Association in Kimberley, Northern Cape, has demanded that the SAFA Frances Baard region to which they are affiliated hold an extraordinary congress.

According to Memela, huge amounts of money were withdrawn from the region’s bank account in 2015. In one instance, R70 000 was allegedly siphoned from the region’s account.

Memela, one of three signatories to the account, claims this was done without his knowledge.

He said: “These transactions were not reported at our committee meetings.

“I alerted the committee of the transactions but they took no action.”

He then reported the matter to the regional legal affairs committee, which promised to investigate.

Memela says he handed all the bank statements covering the period in question to regional legal affairs chairperson Sam Mhlawuli, who compiled a report and gave it to the executive committee.

The report stated that the other two signatories were guilty of misconduct.

The former secretary says the financial statements handed over by the regional president were not verified or endorsed by the committee as per the constitution.

“I told the auditor that he could go ahead and inspect the books but that would be illegal.

“He then returned the books to the regional executive committee without auditing them.”

Memela, who was suspended last March, says he was called to a disciplinary hearing but no one turned up on the set date.

He says one of the charges was that he had contacted the auditor without authorisation.

“There was no hearing but I was told that a resolution to expel me was taken at an extraordinary congress on February 24, 2018.”

Memela claims that close to R60 000 was paid fraudulently to committee members as “honoraria”. He says the payment was not endorsed by congress.

“In the end, R52 500 went out of the account as I did not cash my cheque.”

Memela says he reported this to legal affairs head Tebogo Motlanthe, SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble and vice-president Xolile Nkompela.

“Motlanthe and Nkompela promised to visit the region to conduct an investigation but never did.”

On March 3 Memela opened a case of theft at Umzimkhulu Police Station.

A written response by SAFA spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi reads: “Former secretary Memela was expelled by the region for the transgressions he committed. The regional congress endorsed the expulsion and, as a result, the association could not entertain him further.

“He failed to produce evidence to support his allegations of financial mismanagement.

“Memela is no longer a member of the executive committee.”

Ndabezinhle Sibiya said the local football associations that make up the Umkhanyakude region had written to SAFA asking for the regional executive committee to be dissolved as their term of office had expired.

Sibiya intends to challenge incumbent Kwenzakwakhe Ngwenya for the presidency at the region’s elective congress, which has been postponed three times.

“We wrote this letter out of frustration after the regional congress kept on being delayed,” says Sibiya.

He says the notice for the last postponement got their goat. According to Sibiya, Mumble sent an SMS on March 3, a day before the congress was supposed to be held.

“Besides the manner in which the notice was issued, we also took issue that up to that point, we had not received important documents such as the financial and activity reports.”

SAFA responded: “We put it on record that Mr Ngwenya is not a candidate for presidency in the region.

“The congress is a special one and is meant to deal with the elections.

“The regions’ financials were given to the members for all past financial years and the audited books were submitted to the head office.

“The postponement of the congress had nothing to do with the region’s executive committee.

“It was because of external issues that the head office cannot disclose at this point due to their serious nature. There is no need to dissolve the committee as they will hold their congress soon.”

Bosman, of the SAFA Frances Baard region, recently wrote to City Press after he read an article about the lack of development at some regions and provinces.

“We feel the article touched many raw nerves, particularly those of people who are pro-football development.

“We can relate to most, if not all, of the issues that were raised,” he wrote.

This week Bosman forwarded City Press a letter that his association wrote to the region.

The letter dated March 1 reads: “The Sol Plaatje Local Football Association hereby requests the convening of an urgent extraordinary congress as per article 28 of the SAFA Frances Baard standard statutes.”

“The urgent extraordinary congress is necessitated by the association’s longing to be appraised on the processes undertaken to determine the nominations of candidates and delegates to the Safa national congress.”

Bosman says one of their concerns was the regional exco committee’s decision to only hold an elective congress in October.

“We feel this might render them ineligible to participate and vote at the upcoming SAFA national elective congress.”

SAFA says Motlanthe intends to look into the concerns raised by Bosman.

Read more on:    safa  |  soccer


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