Shakes leads protest of ex-players to Safa offices

Group says its grievances are meant for Fifa

27 May 2022 - 08:17
By Athenkosi Tsotsi
Shakes Mashaba and Malombo Lechaba handing over a memorandum of demands to SAFA's Lydia Monyepao.
Image: Thulani Mbele Shakes Mashaba and Malombo Lechaba handing over a memorandum of demands to SAFA's Lydia Monyepao.

Former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba yesterday led a group picked by Gauteng Masters and Legends, an organisation of retired footballers, to Safa House where they delivered a memorandum of grievances addressed to Fifa. 

About 1,200 people joined the largely peaceful protest that was observed by a group of police officers.

Mashaba, the chair of the Gauteng Masters and Legends,  walked into his former employer's offices flanked by his executives, demanding that their memorandum be received by a Fifa representative.

At the end Mashaba spoke to David Fani from the Fifa development structures on the phone.

In the absence of Fani at Safa House, COO Lydia Monyepao accepted the memo. She read its contents with the nine grievances, including matters of SA Masters and Legends Football Association (SAMLFA), the Siyaya broadcast contract, latest amendments to the Safa constitution and what they described as a bloated executive.

The group also demanded that former players be involved in the Safa structures. They  also queried the R20.8m reportedly paid to Safa national executive committee members. 

"I received the memorandum on behalf of Fifa after speaking to David Fani. The memorandum is from Gauteng [chapter of] SAMLFA addressing several grievances. We as Safa, we're just in the position of receiving the memorandum on behalf of Fifa and making sure it reaches the relevant hands," Monyepao said. 

Protesters included former Safa CEO Dennis Mumble. 

"I came here to support their [ex-players'] call for a more structured recognition by the association. I think they have the right to respond to this notion that they must serve 10 years first in the LFA to be recognised as key role players in the game," Mumble said.

"It's about time we recognise them, not necessarily to become NEC members but there are committees where these guys can positively contribute to the growth of the game."