Safa lawyers apply to postpone Nonkonyana dismissal case

26 January 2018 - 14:35 By Marc Strydom
Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana. File photo
Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana. File photo
Image: Dominic Barnardt / Gallo Images

Lawyers of the South African Football Association (Safa) have applied to postpone a high court case of unfair dismissal against them by Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana that was to be heard on Monday.

Nonkonyana‚ who has announced his intention to stand in the Safa presidential election on March 24 against incumbent Danny Jordaan‚ has cried foul‚ claiming these as delaying tactics.

Safa have responded that the application is based in procedural requirements that have not been complied with by Nonkonyana’s legal team.

Former Safa vice-president Nonkonyana has had two cases pending before the high court.

One is for unfair suspension and the other‚ which was set to be heard on Monday‚ for unfair dismissal.

The cases have dragged since his suspension from Safa in October 2013‚ then dismissal in October 2014‚ in relation to comments made about former Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund.

Safa has said their rules stipulate that Nonkonyana is not eligible to run for the Safa presidency due to his expulsion.

“Safa’s lawyers were calling us frantically yesterday. And I told them firmly that this case has been delayed as a direct result of tactics on their behalf‚ and I can ill afford any further postponements‚” Nonkonyana told TimesLIVE on Friday.

“Then they issued an application in court to postpone‚ but we’ll oppose it.”

Nonkonyana said he believed the effort to postpone the case was motivated by delaying tactics aimed at preventing him from standing for the Safa presidency.

“No doubt. Because they are raising this issue‚ which is a non-issue‚” he said.

“Clearly it is designed to prejudice me and there’s no way I can agree to it.”

“This case has been going since 2014 and we served them with our heads of argument late last year.

“On Monday the matter will be argued. Either then the court will reserve judgement or issue judgement.

“But I hope‚ because of the urgency of the matter‚ the court will issue the judgement there and then.”

Safa legal officer Tebogo Motlanthe said the association applied to postpone the case due to Nonkonyana’s legal team not having followed procedural matters.

“The whole reason is that he (Nonkonyana) did not follow the court manual‚” Motlanthe said.

“There are a lot of things which he did not do‚ which are out of timeline. And yesterday we tried to say to his lawyers: ‘Look‚ is it not best if you just deal with the compliance issues. Because if we go to court it’s a waste of time‚ and waste of court time’.

“And he insisted on going. So then we made the application to the court.

“If Chief thinks he’s within his rights‚ Chief must then wait for Monday and if the court says he’s right the matter will proceed.

“He must not put it as if it’s Safa frustrating him.”

Safa have said that Nonkonyana‚ and former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe‚ are ineligible to stand for the presidency due to rules about candidates being from within the association’s structures.