Safa elections face postponement after Ace Ncobo intervention
The South African Football Association Elective Conference scheduled for March 24 faces postponement after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) confirmed on Friday afternoon that they had withdrawn from overseeing the process.
IEC (Electoral Commission of South Africa) national spokesperson Kate Bapela confirmed that the commission will no longer be oversee the Safa elections until they resolve various issues.
“I can confirm that we have withdrawn from the elections of Safa to allow them to deal with their own internal issues‚” Bapela said on Friday evening.
Former PSL general manager and Fifa referee Andile ‘Ace’ Ncobo‚ who is challenging incumbent Danny Jordaan for the position of Safa president‚ also released a statement on Friday quoting a letter he received from the IEC confirming their withdrawal from the elections.
Ncobo said in a press release on Friday evening that the IEC had withdrawn as a result of a letter he had written them highlighting incidents of gross violations to key constitutional imperatives.
He said he decided to do this after numerous failed attempts to address these issues via emails and letters with Safa CEO Dennis Mumble.
“I was left with no option but to address my concerns to other authoritative bodies. One of those was the IEC itself‚” Ncobo said in his press release.
“The IEC has today … responded to my letter dated 6th March 2018 and confirmed its decision to terminate its involvement in SAFA elections.”
Ncobo quoted the IEC’s response in their letter to him as saying: “The Commission had initially acceded to the request to assist with these elections as requested in the correspondence signed by Mr Mumble on 8 January 2018 subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions which were communicated to SAFA. Subsequent to your letter of 6 March 2018‚ the Commission became cognizant of unresolved matters within SAFA with respect to these elections and has henceforth withdrawn its consent to provide the requested assistance.”
Safa communications head Dominic Chimhavi responded that the association had not received any correspondence from the IEC about their decision to withdraw from the elections.
“We have not received any correspondence from the IEC and as far as we are concerned the elections are going ahead. Ace Ncobo is not the spokesperson for the IEC‚” Chimhavi said.
Ncobo said that without an electoral committee‚ Safa was left with no option but to postpone the elections and “retrace their steps such that the election processes are correctly followed”.
“Article 4 (3) of the Electoral Code prescribes that the Electoral Committee must be elected at a general assembly at least six months before an elective congress. Since that is the first step to be performed‚ this means the election cannot take place earlier than six months‚” Ncobo said.
“In a reply to one of my various emails‚ whose stated objective was to assist SAFA to realise that it had violated its own Statutes‚ Mumble replied‚ ‘The SAFA Congress took a unanimous decision to appoint the IEC as the Electoral Committee and they ran the 2013 elections without incident’.”
Ncobo alleged the elections had been brought back from September to March‚ by a 90 percent Safa vote last year‚ for “motives that had nothing to do with football”.