Ria Ledwaba nominated to contest Jordaan for Safa presidency

With the nominations deadline fast approaching, candidates are raising their hands to challenge the incumbent Danny Jordaan for the seat of SA Football Association (Safa) presidency.

The deadline for submission of nominees is today, Tuesday 19 April.

Even though vice-president Ria Ledwaba was not available to confirm, sources close to her quarters have said the veteran football administrator will be standing for president in the elective congress in June.

It seems after months of speculation Ledwaba has thrown her name in the hat to challenge incumbent Jordaan. She was not available to elaborate as her phone rang unanswered.

Controversial Safa Tshwane’s president Ngoako “Solly” Mohlabeng is also standing for the elections and says he has the support to ascend to the highest throne of SA football.

Mohlabeng was recently kicked out of a Safa congress in Sandton and later charged for misconduct by the disciplinary committee. He was led out of the venue after he insisted on making a point of order, which was not allowed by the chairperson.

Mohlabeng said he has been nominated by his region, Safa Tshwane, and that he has support from four other regions – Johannesburg, Sedibeng, Ekurhuleni and Mangaung in the Free State.

“I am getting support from other regions, especially after that congress. People are telling me that we must not be silenced and afraid to talk, we must be allowed to speak and to challenge people. Our biggest concern is that LFA clubs are the ones playing football and they must have an influence,” said Mohlabeng.

Themba Phiri of Uthukela region (Ladysmith) said: “This week at our regional executive meeting, we all agreed to support Ria Ledwaba candidacy. We are not changing our stance because we want change in the administration and development of football in the country.

“Our decision is not personal, it’s just that things are not done the right way and we need new blood to come in with fresh ideas. We are not scared or intimidated, we were elected to the office by the people who wanted us to represent their views and concerns, and we are simply doing that,” Phiri told Sunday World.

“We need a new person to come and fix things because the regions are not getting any funding, and as a result are not able to function and to perform. The last time the regions had a sponsor it was from Metropolitan around 2008/09.

“The LFA’s are suffering and we must remember that Safa is not only about the national teams and Bafana Bafana. The LFA clubs are run by people who do not have jobs or work. So, it is very difficult to manage and run successful grassroots soccer without funding from the head office,” he added.

“We are hoping that Ria can be a solution to all these problems we are encountering. She is a business lady and she once owned a soccer club. She understands the frustrations of owning a club. If the election contestation is fair, I am hopeful she will give it a good fight.

“We live in a democratic country and if we can nominate and vote for her, and if there are no threats or victimisation, it will be a good challenge.”

Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said: “We have not received any names yet. Normally they wait until the last hour. Once I receive nominations, we send them to the governance committee to screen the candidates.

“And if there are issues, then that committee will take them to the ethics department to scrutinise them further. The process will start moving on Tuesday when we get the nominations.”

Early Safa presidency vote a trick by Jordaan, say disgruntled members

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Kgomotso Mokoena

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