The SA Football Association (SAFA) briefed the Committee on the resumption of professional football under the COVID19 lockdown. The presentation also addressed women’s football and the financial impact of COVID19 on SAFA.
Some Members of the Committee and SAFA engaged in heated discussion on corruption involving SAFA during the 2010 World Cup and the alleged $10b bribe paid by the SA government.
The Committee asked about the funds SAFA received from the Department, COVID19 relief funding, the Mokoena and Mumble report, plans made to improve the performance of Bafana Bafana, leadership in the provinces and structure-formalised medical and sport science support. Further questioned probed PPE procurement, filling of the CEO position, how much board members earn per meeting and the sponsorship of Sasol.
The Committee was displeased with the discrepancy between SAFA’S male and female teams and the gender disparity in the NEC board. Members also questioned the status of female football, the pay gap between male and female players, programmes to address gender-based violence and the lack of diversity of South Africans of other races in football.
Concern was expressed on the R450 paid to Siyaya which was written off. Members asked if SAFA still has a relationship with Siyaya, and asked why it cancelled the Siyaya obligation.
Dr Danny Jordaan, President: South African Football Association (Safa), said Cabinet established a National Command Council (NCC). On 23 March 2020, it announced a 21-day lockdown starting from 26 March. Since then, the lockdown extended in line with the National Command Council’s Risk-Adjusted Strategy.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) implored the countries of the world to seek to strike a balance between protecting health, minimising economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights.
The International Federation of Association Football told member associations that governing bodies must prioritise the safety of players and other participants. The Joint Liaison Committee of SAFA and the National Soccer League met on 12 May 2020 to deliberate on measures for the resumption of professional football. This is with due regard for the health of players and other participants. The Joint Liaison Committee (JLC) established a Working Group to finalise the development of safety protocols.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of SAFA met on 20 June 2020. It endorsed the JLC’s recommendation to resume professional football with no spectators and other strict COVID-19 safety protocols. The NEC also resolved that the ABC Motsepe League, and other non-professional leagues managed by SAFA, will not resume yet because of size, scale, and the practicality of enforcing compliance. Extensive consultations took place between the Minister, the leadership of SAFA, and the South African Premier Division (PSL). The promotion-relegation playoff between the non-professional leagues and the NSL must still be finalised by the JLC.
SAFA noted with concern, non-official matches are organised in different parts of the country, violating lockdown measures. This matter is out of scope for SAFA. It requests the South African Police Services (SAPS) to enforce compliance.
SAFA wrote to its members. It advised members of the prerogative to obey lockdown regulations and ensure no matches are organised at this stage.
On compliance matters, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture said he was satisfied with the plan for resuming professional football. The Minister issued various regulations/directives as a guide on how the return to football must be phased in.
On 5 July 2020, the Minister directed SAFA to play an overarching role in monitoring compliance with the regulations. SAFA appointed Dr Thulani Ngwenya and Mr Mlungisi Ncame as its compliance officers. The Compliance Officers met with NSL counterparts, Mr Michael Murphy and Dr Lervasen Pillay, to evaluate the clubs and League’s compliance documents and processes.
SAFA submitted a report to Minister Mthethwa confirming the compliance processes are in order. The Minister can issue the approval to resume the season. The Minister issued the directive on 7 August 2020. The Compliance Officers are satisfied with the safety measures in place at the biologically safe environment (BSE) hotels and stadia since the season resumed on 8 August 2020.
See the attached document for the complete presentation.
Ms V Malomane (ANC) said she is not happy with the discrepancy between SAFA’s male and female teams. Male teams are more dominant than female teams. She wanted to know what the status is of female football, and the participation of recreational, semi-professional, and professional football in the country. That is, she asked if SAFA invests enough resources towards female participation in football.
She asked how SAFA plans to lower gender inequality within its board. For example, she said, looking at provincial chairpersons, there is no women representation. The performance of Bafana Bafana is poor compared to Banyana Banyana. She asked what it is doing to rectify this.
Lastly, she wanted to know the status of the pay gap for males and females.
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) asked Ms Anastasia Tsichlas if she is happy and safe serving in an executive team with plus or minus 35 males.
He asked the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) if there is anything wrong with a Member seeking information from any other member within the NEC, about SAFA. He wanted to know how much money it receives from the Department, and how much it received this year.
He also asked how much money it receives from Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA for COVID-19 relief funding. He wanted to know how this money is allocated to beneficiaries, and how much COVID-19 funding is received to assist all regions, all local football associations, and all association members.
He asked for confirmation regarding the R450 million which was paid to Siyaya, which was written off. It was written off without the then CEO, or the Executive of the SAFA Congress. He wanted to know if SAFA still has a relationship with Siyaya, and asked why it cancelled the Siyaya obligation.
He asked for an explanation, specifically asking if there was any arrangement for an exchange of money in return for nothing.
In the presentation SAFA only gave its side of the story regarding the issue with Mokoena and Mumble. The Committee also wants to hear Mr Mokoena and Mr Mumble’s side of the story. He asked what FIFA said, as it wrote a letter to FIFA.
He asked the CEO if SAFA investigated the allegations brought to it, which included allegations of corruption. He asked what it did concerning this.
He wanted to know who is doing SAFA’s communication, if this tender went out, who it appointed, and at how much the appointment was made. He asked how the tender process is done.
There is an allegation about a 10 million dollars bribe. He asked about this.
He also asked about the rules and regulations to deal with misconduct of Dr Danny Jordaan, as per the complaint. He wanted to know if the SAFA Executive replied to FIFA.
Mr B Mamabolo (ANC) said the Acting CEO is a very energetic person. He thinks it is time for him to be CEO. He said SAFA must leave the issues of politics in its organisation. The teams must perform well. He told the President of SAFA to sort out his issues with the Deputy President.
Mr C Sibisi (NFP) said although the performance of Bafana Bafana improved by taking position 71 from 86, it is still not enough. South Africa is a big country with all the resources. He wanted to know what it is planning to do strategically to assist Bafana Bafana to improve.
In some of the regions there are no Presidents for some of its structures. He wanted to know what it is doing to ensure leadership prevails.
He wanted to know what its plan is to make sure every football played, irrespective of where, is under its control.
Mr W Faber (DA) said there is a report regarding a 10 million dollar bribe paid by the South African government. He wanted to know if it investigated this money, as the United States (US) Attorney General found South Africa did pay a bribe of 10 million dollars to get the 2010 World Cup.
Ms V Van Dyk (DA) said there is still a lack of representation by South Africans of other races such as Whites and Indians in football. She wanted to know what is done to redress this. Concerning the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) Transformation Reports, she wanted to know when the school rate and system will be fixed, and if SAFA can give a timeline regarding when it will be done.
Dr Jordaan said SAFA was asked to open a case of defamation against the Democratic Alliance (DA) because it was established not a single penny was paid by anyone in South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup. The DA opened a case in Cape Town, but failed to produce evidence for its claims. The DA is lying and he is upset because the World Cup was organised by Blacks and was successful. Therefore it must be smeared. He said the DA must be put under oath to bring its facts, because this matter was established by two investigations by the United States authority and the FIFA authority. All the documents are there, and the DA is welcome to go to the SAFA offices and have a look at it. The DA thinks if a person is not White then automatically the person is guilty of something and must be investigated.
He asked why the DA is not asking questions such as why SuperSport does not broadcast any Banyana Banyana matches. He wanted to know why the DA is not asking this question. He asked why, consistently, Naspers-owned papers City Press and Sunday World have never written a single positive article on football.
Mr Mhlongo said Dr Jordaan is lying. He cannot tell the DA what to ask. He must answer the questions. He said Dr Jordaan cannot tune the DA’s minds like he tunes the board members and NEC.
Mr Mxolisi Sibam, SAFA NEC Member, wanted Mr Mhlongo to withdraw what he said. He said the NEC is not tuned.
Mr Faber said he is not lying. The US Attorney found out South Africa paid a bribe to host the 2010 World Cup. It is not the DA saying it, but rather the DA is just following up on the findings of the US Attorney General. He said Dr Jordaan must withdraw what he said about the DA. He must respect Parliament as he is not in a FIFA meeting where he can speak to people in the way he wants.
Dr Jordaan addressed Mr Faber, saying he has a responsibility. If he puts allegations in the public he must have a document to support his allegations.
The SAFA CEO addressed Mr Mhlongo saying, before having an opinion over an allegation he must first check the authenticity of the allegation. Mr Mhlongo goes to the media accusing people of corruption without checking the basis of the accusation. This is a wrong notion.
Regarding the Mokoena and Mumble Report, he said those reports were presented to the highest decision making body, the National Executive Committee. A decision was reached. It has not yet been challenged. As it stands, the decision stands.
The 10 million dollars appeared in its finances because it was paid for the Caribbean Fund and the 2010 Diaspora Fund from the South African government. It is still trying to recover the money from the government up till today. This is the reason it wrote it into its financials. It is becoming stale to continuously hear the 10 million dollars was a bribe.
Speaking on the allegations against Dr Jordaan, SAFA said it can never erase history. The fact remains Dr Jordaan is the only African who brought and made a successful World Cup in the country. Mr Mhlongo must stop rubbishing something successful which he thinks a Black person is not capable of doing. He said there are capable and highly educated Blacks at SAFA.
Regarding lack of race representation in soccer, he said when it comes to former Model C schools or private schools, football is not existent. The majority of Whites and Indians go to these schools. So unless football is accessible in these schools, there will not be more White and Indian football players.
Mr Gronie Hluyo, SAFA CFO, said the R450 million for Siyaya is not written off. The financial statements are audited and are available on the website. It signed an agreement in 2015 with Siyaya for broadcast rights. Siyaya was going to broadcast the free to air and the pay-TV rights relating to the SAFA matches. Unfortunately, Siyaya could not get the free to air rights. This means the contract between SAFA and Siyaya was unenforceable and could not be implemented. The contract was then cancelled and SAFA signed with SABC for broadcasting rights.
On the pay gap between female and male footballers, he agreed there is indeed a gap between the Bafana players and the Banyana players. SAFA is working on it. So far it managed to equal the daily allowances. The only area it is still working on is bonuses. Bear in mind, SAFA relies on sponsors and most of its sponsors are for Bafana. The bulk of its sponsorship income is for Bafana. It only has one sponsor so far for Banyana, which is Sasol. So if the government can also contribute to women’s football then SAFA will be able to close the gap.
SAFA gets a R2 million grant from the government every year. This year it did not receive any grant. The total revenue per year is R250 million. So the R2 million it gets from the government is less than 1% of its revenue. Nonetheless, SAFA is thankful for the grant.
It has not yet received any relief funds from CAF, but it is in the process. From FIFA it received 500 thousand US dollars. It only received these funds on the 14th of August. SAFA is going to pay its regions part of the money.
Regarding its regions, it paid R125 thousand to each region. SAFA applied for funding from the legacy trust. This funding was approved. It used it to pay the regions.
On an annual basis, SAFA pays each region R420 thousand. In total per year SAFA pays over R20 million to its regions and its associate members.
The company doing its communications is Grit communications. Grit Communications submitted an unsolicited proposal when SAFA was attacked in the media. It said it will help SAFA with its public relations. The proposal looked good for SAFA and SAFA contracted with it.
Ms Tsichlas answered on the issue of Bafana and Banyana. The Banyana players come from the SAFA structures. The Bafana players belong to a professional league. If one looks at what was happening 20 years ago with women in football, and look at now, there is a tremendous improvement in the development of women’s football.
Regarding if she feels safe and happy, she said she is very happy and safe.
Mr Monde Montshiwa, SAFA NEC, said he is a school principal by appointment, and he is greatly involved in the sport. The DA cannot blame SAFA for football in the former Model C schools because School Governing Bodies (SBGs) are given powers by law to determine which specific sport code is to be paid for in its schools. On the issue of the 10 million dollars, he said SAFA is not the one who paid the money to the Caribbean. The money was directly paid from FIFA to the Caribbean. When FIFA was supposed to pay the money for the World Cup to South Africa, it deducted the money.
He said the body is not tuned. He is a school principal with a Master’s degree and cannot be tuned by any other person.
Ms Nomonde Dlakana, SAFA Western Cape, said she does not understand what Mr Mhlongo is insinuating asking if women are safe and happy. Women participation must be encouraged not questioned. She asked Mr Mhlongo to rephrase his question in a manner not representing red taps.
Mr Bennet Bailey, SAFA NEC, said it is not true there are fewer opportunities for Banyana. This is because both Bafana and Banyana play the World Cup. Both go for Olympic qualifiers. When it comes to national championships it is also equal. So there is no discrimination when it comes to opportunities.
On the EPG transformation report, he said the report is based on data from the 18/19 financial year. There is not yet a 19/20. If one does a comparison, there will be a remarkable improvement by SAFA in those areas identified as gaps in the reports. The next report will be updated to see the current standing.
Mr Linda Zwane, SAFA NEC, said one is expecting more results when there are fewer facilities. If one goes around the municipalities and especially Black schools there are no sports or football facilities. These issues must be balanced. He asked if the Committee can help it in the distribution of these resources.
Regarding if it is a crime to write to the Minister, he said it becomes a crime if one does not follow the Constitution. It is clear from the statute, there are protocols to be followed and if it is not followed then it becomes misconduct. Regarding if women are being empowered enough, he said he believes SAFA is on the right track.
Mr Pius Nqandela, SAFA NEC, said when empowering women, it must ensure starting from the lower structures. Women must understand the dynamics of football, so in the future there will be women who are in the position to run football properly.
Ms R Adams (ANC) said, according to the EPG transformation report, SAFA does not have structure-formalised medical and sport science support. She wanted to know when the matter will be resolved.
She asked if SAFA will survive financially in the future, given its liabilities are found to exceed its assets. She asked if the Federation is on the verge of bankruptcy and what plans there are to recover financially.
On the COVID-19 projects such as personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement, she asked if SAFA spends any money on such projects. If so, she asked how much it spent, and from whom it is sourcing supplies from.
She wanted to know when the CEO position will be filled on a full-time basis.
Lastly, she said there is talk about retrenchments. She wanted to hear more about it.
Mr Mhlongo said SAFA is protecting Dr Jordaan, and he is going to put the organisation down the drain.
He wanted to know how much Members of NEC make, including allowances. He asked how much Members get from attending meetings and how many meetings are attended.
Mr B Luthuli (IFP) said since Bafana Bafana is not performing well, he wanted to know if there is anything which can be done to make it function well.
He suggested, if a person is not performing well on duty like Bafana Bafana, the person must not be paid more than those doing well, and better, like Banyana Banyana.
The Chairperson wanted to check if the sponsor for Banyana Banyana, Sasol, is still with the team.
She wanted to know if it has any programme for gender-based violence (GBV).
She said in the Fifth Parliament, the question of the 10 million dollars was answered.
Mr Mamabolo said he never sees the Deputy President’s in meetings. He wanted to know why. He asked if the executive members are fighting. This affects the players, and said he is worried about the future of soccer.
The CEO said there is no vacancy for the CEO as he is appointed till the end of December. SAFA is sure by then it will have finalised the process of getting a CEO.
On the issue of Mr Mokoena, he said the highest decision-making body of SAFA is the National Executive Committee. It gave him the right to be heard. Mr Mokoena was in a meeting where he was given a chance to respond and he responded. The NEC took a decision which Mr Mokoena has not yet challenged.
On the issue of Mr Mumble, he did not respond as the Constitution requires, for the term he was a CEO. So the NEC decided not to entertain him.
He said SAFA is not protecting Dr Jordaan. It is merely exercising its constitutional duties.
The CFO said yes, the liabilities exceeds the assets. This is the nature of the business of sport. SAFA has been working on this since March and managed to half this deficit. SAFA is resilient and continuously improves its business.
It is in a process of retrenchment because of the economy.
Sasol is still a sponsor to Banyana Banyana.
SAFA did not procure any PPEs. Its offices are still closed, and amateur football is still on hold.
Meeting allowances for the National Executive Committee is R2 000 per meeting. For the Standing Committee, it pays Members a gross amount of R1 000 per meeting. On average there are about four NEC meetings and four standing meetings.
The Chairperson said due to time constraints the remainder of answers must be addressed with written responses.
Dr Jordaan said SAFA gave enough documents, and if anyone wants to have any further engagements they must feel free to come to SAFA house. He said most of its members have degrees, Master’s degrees, and some are doing PhDs. Therefore members must not be belittled by being called puppets.
The Committee adopted minutes from the previous meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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