Chief's bid for Safa top post 'not motivated by vengeance'

Former Safa vice president Mwelo Nonkonyana.
Former Safa vice president Mwelo Nonkonyana.

Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana maintains his desire to become president of the SA Football Association (Safa) is not motivated by revenge after his acrimonious departure from the organisation three years ago.

In October 2014, a Safa congress voted for his removal as deputy president - a decision Nonkonyana is still fighting in court - following heated comments he made about then Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund.

"I'm running because a lot of regions, and indeed many people, have asked me to do so," he said of his candidacy for the March 24 Safa presidential poll. "I have been asked to be part of the solution to the crisis plaguing our football. It's not about revenge or anything."

Incumbent Danny Jordaan is expected to seek a second term, but Nonkonyana has accused his one-time friend turned rival of playing a role in his departure from Safa.

"I was accused of having spoken about the then coach [Igesund] without permission. But in actual fact I had done so many times before without any disciplinary hearing preferred against me.

"The main reason I was removed from my position was that I had rejected divisions. Danny and his people know the truth about that."

In the 2013 Safa election, Nonkonyana appeared on two lists - that of Jordaan and that of Shoes Mazibuko - as a candidate for deputy president [for the association].

"This made Jordaan and his people angry because all I wanted was unity. That's why they concocted charges against me and told congress to expel me. I have sought relief in the High Court in Johannesburg and a ruling should be made soon. I expect to be reinstated.

"A lot of people who voted for my expulsion have conceded they were misled."

Nonkonyana, 61, said Bafana and other national teams would be his main priority should he be elected.

"You can see our national teams are suffering. We didn't qualify for the World Cup, that's because the leadership is not fulfilling its mandate.

"When we were first elected in 2009, we promised to take football to greater heights. But instead our FTF [football transformation forum] turned into a forum of cabals. [Safa] regions have now become unstable because they are expected to toe a particular line. I want to fix all that."

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