We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Ledwaba on losing Safa election: ‘I will not rest until Jordaan is out of football’

26 June 2022 - 14:25 By Marc Strydom
Ria Ledwaba attends the SA Football Association elective congress at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on June 25 2022.
Ria Ledwaba attends the SA Football Association elective congress at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on June 25 2022.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Ria Ledwaba said she will not rest until Danny Jordaan is “out of football” after losing the election battle for the presidency of the SA Football Association (Safa) to the incumbent on Saturday.

Jordaan received 186 votes in Saturday’s elective congress at Sandton Convention Centre to secure a third term, Ledwaba 27 and Safa Tshwane president Ngoako “Solly” Mohlabeng eight.

Ledwaba continued to allege that constitutional amendments made ahead of the elective congress in a March 24 extraordinary congress were aimed at entrenching Jordaan and the current national executive committee (NEC) in power.

“I knew the odds were against me but I think I fought a good fight,” Ledwaba said.

“I still believe that Safa needs to change. And I believe that I have not lost today — in fact, football has lost a servant.”

Asked to clarify if that statement meant she was leaving Safa, Ledwaba replied: “No, no, I’m not. You’re still going to hear a lot from me.

“Until Dr Jordaan is out of football I will not rest.”

She said she meant SA football “has lost somebody who would have brought change”.

“I have said a lot of things that need to be changed. I hope the new executive that is there will make those changes, if they are able to.”

Ledwaba was vetted as not qualifying to run for the NEC by the governance committee. Safa president Tebogo Motlanthe told TimesLIVE the fact that she is no longer on the NEC means Ledwaba, according to the Safa statutes, can no longer be vice-president.

She had served as Safa vice-president from 2018. Given she took Safa to court to try to stop the elections there seems a possibility the association could even make moves to expel Ledwaba from its ranks.

Ledwaba was asked if the election loss means the end of her influence in SA football.

“Not at all. I have got the Ria Ledwaba Foundation in the local communities giving back to football. And that's what I will continue to do — I will never be lost to football.

“There's nothing to be discouraged about [regarding] the election. The election is about winning or losing.

“But it has to be a fair [playing] ground where everybody has got a fair opportunity. But in this election we all know there was no fair ground.

“The constitution, we all know, was changed just to suit certain individuals. But we will continue to fight. I think it is important that Safa should change.”

Ledwaba was asked why she feels so strongly Jordaan has to be unseated as head of Safa.

“I don’t think he's good for our football. I believe he has done his part for all these years he has been in football. But I think you cannot have football that's a one-man show.

“It's the truth. They can say whatever they say but the bottom line is that's how he rules at the association.

“If you look at the delegates they are chosen by their regions. But then you come to the congress and you are asked to withdraw your name. On what mandate do you withdraw your name at the congress when you have been voted in by the region?”

Among controversial constitutional changes was one that to stand for the election for the NEC a candidate had to have served at Safa at a regional level or higher for longer than 10 years.

Ledwaba’s camp alleged this was aimed at entrenching the current NEC in place, thus ensuring their loyalty to Jordaan.

Among the NEC, 18 were regional heads. The 52 regions, with four votes each, constitute the biggest section of the vote by far for the NEC and presidency.

Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.