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MADIMETJA MOGOTLANE | Charitable Motsepe spoils Safa and its officials rotten

Soccer body is never held to account

Confederation of African Football president and Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe.
Confederation of African Football president and Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

In 2013, mining mogul Dr Patrice Motsepe donated half of his wealth to charity. This was in response to the actions of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who encourage billionaires to distribute their wealth through The Giving Pledge (a promise by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes).

Meticulous and benevolent as he is, through his Motsepe foundation, he heeded the call and pledged to donate half of his fortune to charity to improve the lives of the poor and marginalised. His charitable cause should be applauded with the number of rescue missions he executed on the continent, and the most notable one being to respond to a please call me message from PSL chairperson Dr Irvin Khoza to rescue the National First Division from operating without a financial sponsor in the 2022/2023 season. Kudos to the transformational leader who believes that employees should be empowered at all levels of an organisation.

Complemented by his charisma Motsepe abides by the South African philosophy of ubuntu, humanity which means “I am what I am because of who we all are. He is always on the speed dial of the needy and he does not waste time to answer their calls.

Who can forget when KZN province was ravaged by floods last year in April. While the affected communities were reeling in shock from the devastating impact of that catastrophe, Motsepe donated R30m to the KwaZulu-Natal government to rebuild communities affected by floods.

Recently, the most embarrassing scene came into play when Banyana Banyana boycotted the match over allegations that the association did not want to assure the players of bonuses. To save the fiasco, Motsepe donated R6m to the national team so that the ladies can go represent the country in the Women World Cup with pride.

Besides portraying himself as “Father Theresa”, In Kasie lingo Motsepe will be known as “senya ke tla patela”, meaning just destroy and I shall pay. As much as he is always willing to be charitable, Motsepe can be equated to that parent who always pays for their recalcitrant rascal’s sins committed in the community. When community members come to their homes to report the boy’s misdemeanours, instead of establishing what the problem is for mediation, the parent without apologising will always say “don’t worry, I will pay”. Spoilt as he is, realising that the parents are always on his side, the brat repeats his offence knowing that parents will make a commitment to pay again without disciplining him.

What does this teach the South African Football Association (Safa) as an organisation? Like the spoilt miscreant who always gets protected by his parents, the organisation’s reliance on Motsepe is too much now. In Safa’s books, there will always be no accountability and the association will never improve our state of football because they know that there is a Father Christmas who will come to the rescue. The fact of the matter is that Safa has lots of money, but maladministration, avarice, ineptitude, and lack of accountability has turned the association into a bastion of corruption.

As CAF president, Motsepe was supposed to use his power to hold those who are responsible for the debacle to account before pledging the R6m donation. Motsepe has set a wrong precedent this time and has portrayed himself as a paragon of the “senya ke tla patela” hero to Safa officials.

It is a norm within the Safa corridors to squander money without accounting for it. The Motsepe foundation is doing good charity work but throwing money willy-nilly like confetti at a wedding is setting a wrong precedent.

• Mogotlane is a Sowetan reader

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