Bring it on: sleuth dares Safa over damning dossier

Football body's top brass implicated in malfeasance

Nkareng Matshe Sports editor
Bart Henderson.
Bart Henderson.
Image: Supplied

The man who last week published a startling report on the goings-on at the South African Football Association (Safa) says he is ready for the legal battle that the football governing body has threatened him with.

Bart Henderson sent out what he calls a forensic report titled “OFFSIDES” and dated June 5, in which he questioned Safa’s financial affairs and accused the association’s president, Danny Jordaan, and chief financial officer Gronie Hluyo of financial mismanagement.

Sowetan became aware of the report only after Safa, on its website, published a statement which threatened legal action against “individuals circulating defamatory statements”.

The individual was Henderson, whose company Henderson Solutions deals with fraud and corruption cases. He reiterated he stood by his 44-page report which, he says, took six months to compile.

While his report contains information already in the public domain, such as Safa’s purchase of Fun Valley as a development centre for over R60m, Henderson also quotes documents which allege questionable payments made from Safa’s bank account to Jordaan and Hluyo, among others.

“Safa, from its FNB account, seems to have paid R6,3m to or for the benefit of Jordaan,” Henderson’s report quotes from what he says was criminal case CAS 422/05/2020. Hluyo is listed as having received R1,67m, while even more mindbogglingly, a certain Ngwenya was said to have been paid over R8,3m by the same Safa account.

Sowetan sent specific questions to Safa – including one seeking clarity on who Ngwenya could be – but the association referred us to last Saturday’s statement. “We won’t comment further than this,” said Safa spokesman Mninawa Ntloko.

On the threat of a legal suite, Henderson retorted: “It is a singular indictment that Safa would attempt to intimate through lawfare instead of answering simple, pointed questions of transparency. Questions they should not only be confident, but comfortable answering in full.” 

Last Saturday, Safa stated Henderson was hired by a former trustee of the Fifa Legacy Trust, which oversaw the distribution of over R600m garnered from hosting the 2010 World Cup. The financial affairs of that Trust feature highly in the report, although Henderson would not divulge who hired him to compile it. “I’m bound by client confidentiality,” he said.

But he does question the circumstances around the dissolution of the Trust, alleging trustees had been removed without ever having seen the bank statements of the fund, something which Safa disputed by saying it had released financial statements.

“You can release financial statements but that’s not the same as a bank statement. Saying you spent R67m on a building when no one has actually seen who was paid, who was selling that building, is not being transparent. The trustees have a fiduciary duty to see those records and Safa have not provided them – except perhaps to Jordaan and Hluyo,” he said.

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