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Big guns explain why they support Ria for Safa job

'If you want to see things done, send a woman'

Neville Khoza Journalist

While she didn't make an appearance at a press conference she called this week, Ria Ledwaba seemed to have the backing of several SA sporting personalities in her bid to challenge for the Safa presidency.

Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane and other personalities like ex-Bafana star Doctor Khumalo, former Safa CEO Dennis Mumble and former Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba appeared to have thrown their weight behind Ledwaba to topple incumbent Danny Jordaan in next month's election, as they all attended the event in Houghton on Tuesday.

Banyana Banyana's all-time top scorer Portia Modise also gave a talk at the press conference.

Molokwane believes Ledwaba’s rise to the highest office of SA football will also be a boost for women's empowerment and also encourage more women to be involved in sport.

“I don’t feel proud and happy being the only woman representing the sporting fraternity. We need another woman and as I always say, if you want a job being done, send a woman,” Molokwane said.

“It won’t be done. It shall be done. If we want to change in football and we want Bafana Bafana in the top 10 of the rankings, take my word a woman will make that change.

“She’s going to have challenges and men are going to say this is my space. This is where I want to be, who are you as a woman to want to take up our space in our dominating sport?

“She is going to make a difference and no matter how hard and tough, she won’t give up because we know the passion that is within us drives us to want to do better and change the narrative. I think Ria will change the narrative of football.”

Khumalo said he was committed to supporting change, be it in the current structures or new ones.

“What I want to see happening is change. Whether the current structure or the future structures,” he said.

“Whether president Danny keeps his job it’s fine, but until when? This country is blessed with talent. We are only envying positions but not delivering?

“[We need] change where regions are being supported, not suppressed."

Ledwaba's office explained her absence through a statement yesterday.

"On the anniversary of the day that Madiba was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of SA, civil society saw it fit to host the current vice president of Safa to formalise her acceptance of running as a presidential candidate in the Safa elections.

"On the 4th May an invitation of the event to be held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation was circulated. Ms Ledwaba accepted the invitation to share her decision for her acceptance of the nomination and her plans to bring about change to SA football.

"However, on the 6th of May, a circular was issued to all members by Safa CEO prohibiting all nominees from public appearance in a form of campaigning before confirmation of candidacy. We would like to appreciate the speakers for their words of support, thank all guests and media for honouring the invite." 

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