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safa's war of attrition rages

By Mcelwa Nchabeleng | Dec 31, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE battle between the new Safa leadership and regions that dispute the September 26 elections is far from over. In fact, it is getting uglier by the day.

THE battle between the new Safa leadership and regions that dispute the September 26 elections is far from over. In fact, it is getting uglier by the day.

The antagonism between Safa and the regions is continuing in spite of President Jacob Zuma's call for peace and unity between the fighting parties.

But for now Safa is having things its way and has punished the regions that refused to toe the line.

The mother body has decided not to continue giving the dissenting regions their grants until they recognise the new Safa office bearers.

All 52 Safa regions receive annual grants of R250000 each for development on a quarterly basis from the national office but Safa has suspended the grants for the regions not in good standing with the new leadership.

Safa also prevented officials from the affected regions from attending the glittering Fifa 2010 World Cup final draw in Cape Town on December 4.

Now the regions are gatvol with Safa and have threatened to take SA soccer's governing body to the highest court in the land if they don't receive their grants.

The affected regions include Sekhukhune in Limpopo, Kenneth Kaunda in North West, Uthungulu in KwaZulu-Natal and Nkangala in Mpumalanga.

Safa Sekhukhune deputy president Lazarus Thokwane said yesterday that they will not hesitate to take Safa to court if they contravene the constitution.

"Safa is not doing us a favour by giving us the grant. This is within the constitution," said an angry Thokwane.

"We are going to engage them when they return to office next month and if we don't get a solution we will take the matter up with the court. Our sin here is that we supported Irvin Khoza for the Safa presidency. It is our democratic right to choose a candidate of our choice."

Said Safa Nkangala president Henry Mhlongo: "We have been punished because we raised a concern over the elections. There were irregularities during the elections and we need answers.

"Why don't they want to listen to our concerns? Let us debate this and if we are proven wrong we will accept that. We will seek legal opinion if this matter is not resolved."

Safa vice-president Mwelo Nonkonyana confirmed yesterday that the association had suspended grants for the regions that had questioned the legitimacy of the new Safa leadership.

"They don't regard us as their legitimate leaders and they want to topple us.

"They have engaged their lawyers and they use the money we give them to pay their lawyers," Nonkonyana said. "The grants are solely for development, not for their legal battle with us.

"It disturbs us a great deal - the silence of Irvin Khoza, whose name has been used by the officials of these regions. I challenge him to condemn the actions of these people openly to show that he does not support them.

"There are also those using the name of our president (Zuma) to fulfill their agendas.

"We know the people who want to topple us and we are ready for them," he warned.


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