Mumble slams Safa's elective congress campaign rules

'The rule has never been there in the history of SA football'

11 May 2022 - 19:59
By Athenkosi Tsotsi
Former Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images Former Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble

Former Safa CEO Dennis Mumble is of the view that there are incumbents that are behind the rule saying candidates for the upcoming congressional elections should campaign 14 days before the event. 

With the elective congress on June 25, a letter was issued to the Safa members who wish to be part of it by Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe, saying they can only start campaigning 14 days before the elections.

This saw Safa vice-president Ria Ledwaba not going to the podium in her presidential campaign launch at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg this week. Fearing she may be expelled or suspended, Ledwaba chose not to speak and allow those who are in favour of her to voice out their thoughts.  

Mumble, who has served over 13 years in the football mother body in the capacity of CEO and COO, rebuked the issuing of the letter condemning early campaigning for the elections.

"The candidates who are running for elections don't know the rules they have to abide by," said Mumble on SowetanLIVE's Marawa Sports Worldwide. 

"This directive is not clear, it just stated you cannot do this but it doesn't mention the authority under which the directive was issued. That's where the complications come, that's why I call it a mess in addition to the whole regulatory framework of the election. 

"[The rule] has never been there in the history of SA football. For all the congresses since I've left, there has been no such decision approved by the congress. I've not heard of anything about the Safa NEC saying campaigning may start in 14 days.

"Safa has 63 members, if you're going to be constrained to 14 days of campaigning, that means you're going to visit four members or more per day. It's impossible, you cannot do that," Mumble said.

The outspoken Mumble sympathised with Motlanthe, who the letter was issued under his name. Mumble is of the view that the current CEO was put under political pressure from the organisation, something he has experienced during his tenure from 2013 to 2017. He called those he perceives to be behind the letter "incumbents". 

"There are incumbents that are in control of the message that came via the CEO. They are the ones issuing those directives; they are making it up as they go along," said Mumble. 

"The incumbents who are in control are the ones behind the letter, I know. I was in that position before. There were things I was asked to do and I said I will not do them, I had my fights refusing to do things. I feel for the CEO of Safa because the political pressure can be enormous and relentless," he said.