Ria Ledwaba’s region and province ‘backing Jordaan in Safa election’
While SA Football Association (Safa) presidential hopeful Ria Ledwaba says she has “overwhelming support” in her bid to oust Danny Jordaan as the association’s president, supporters of the incumbent are saying her province Limpopo is not backing her.
Ledwaba, Jordaan and Safa Tshwane president Solly Mohlabeng will battle it out for the presidency at the June 25 elective congress.
Ledwaba has gone to the Pretoria high court with an application to interdict the elective congress, alleging various procedural irregularities.
Whether she succeeds or fails in that effort, indications are when the election is contested, Ledwaba faces an uphill battle dislodging Jordaan, who appears to have overwhelming support in Safa's 52 regions, which constitute the majority of the vote.
Safa's chairperson for Limpopo Jack Maluleka said the province's five regions — Vhembe, Sekhukhune, Waterberg, Mopani and Capricorn — are backing Jordaan. Safa Capricorn is Ledwaba's home region.
Insiders in Jordaan's camp believe Ledwaba only has eight regions backing her nationally.
“We wanted to be honest as the province,” said Maluleka, who is also head of Safa's technical committee and a national executive committee member.
“We checked all the leaders and ideally when there’s somebody who was vice-president, they can be the next president in terms of the succession plan.
“However, our disappointment was that the people we have put as vice-president show we have done something that was not good and that’s why they end up not being the next president. It’s not that if you question the president, you are out, as they [opponents of Jordaan] claim, but we say people must be honest.”
Maluleka said the regions in Limpopo believe Ledwaba is not ready to take over from Jordaan despite her having served as a Safa vice-president.
“For Ria to become the vice-president, I was the one tasked to go and lobby for her after we had approached her, but for in this one we feel she is not ready,” he said.
Ledwaba was nominated by Vhembe's previous leadership before they were voted out of their positions a few months ago.
Maluleka also gave his opinion on the allegations about bullying and ruling with an iron fist levelled against Jordaan.
“People are saying Danny Jordaan is bullying members, is doing this and that. That’s utter rubbish. Danny Jordaan is a good listener, leader and very professional person. That’s why he is a doctor [Jordaan has honorary doctorates from universities],” Maluleka said.
“We said we want a man of this calibre. If you can check when he is elected president, he doesn’t wait for his four years to elapse before he comes and speaks to the regions about what he wants to do.
“When I look at all the things said about him, I conclude this is self-hate. We hate ourselves so much because when you go outside this country and look for respected leaders in football, Danny Jordaan is there.
“The man is respected out there but in SA we talk about a lot of things that are not true. The man is an incredible leader.”
Ledwaba was asked at a press conference last week, where she confirmed her candidacy, if she felt she had enough support to unseat Jordaan.
She responded: “I do have the support, overwhelming support. I'm sure that's why there's so much panic [in Safa's current leadership].
“If there was no panic, we would not be having all these letters we're getting and all that. We have plenty of support.”
Ledwaba's case in the Pretoria high court will be heard on Wednesday, not Tuesday as TimesLIVE was initially informed.
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