WATCH | ‘The fact that Danny must go still remains’: Malema on Safa boss

14 February 2024 - 14:51
By Marc Strydom
EFF leader Julius Malema at the Bafana Bafana arrival at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday from finishing third at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
Image: Veli Nhlapo EFF leader Julius Malema at the Bafana Bafana arrival at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday from finishing third at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Bafana Bafana’s bronze medal at the Africa Cup of Nations has not altered EFF leader Julius Malema’s opposition to Danny Jordaan’s presidency of South African football.

Malema and Jordaan were part of Wednesday morning’s greeting party at OR Tambo International Airport that also included sports minister Zizi Kodwa and Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi, as they welcomed Bafana back from their third place at the Nations Cup in Ivory Coast.

The EFF’s mobilisation of supporters significantly bolstered numbers — their red-shirted members made up perhaps more than 80% of the crowd in the arrivals hall — amid a poor turnout due to the team’s 4am arrival.

The EFF saved Safa and the government’s blushes for not being nearly as effective in organising supporters at the airport.

However, Malema’s continued strong criticism of Jordaan provided a dampener for the Safa president on an occasion when he should have been taking a victory lap at a rare Bafana success.

Malema had called for Jordaan’s axing after Bafana’s 2-0 opening Nations Cup defeat against Mali. The EFF leader posted on X that Jordaan was an “ANC-deployed cadre” who had “collapsed South African football”.

On Wednesday morning said Bafana's run to third place does not change his stance that Jordaan is running Safa poorly.

Malema was asked if there is a concern that Bafana’s bronze medal in Ivory Coast has the potential to mask various deficiencies that have plagued Safa and men’s South African football as Bafana have notably underachieved for two decades.

“Well, it is not necessarily masking. We are looking at the occasion,” he responded.

“So you must have a sense of occasion where the fact that Danny must go still remains. He needs to go.

“But for now we want to concentrate on celebrating Bafana Bafana and not spoil the whole celebration with politics of football.

“Our being here and listening to Danny here doesn’t make him a good leader. [He is a leader] who can’t respond to simple questions of how much people [the Bafana players] are going to get [in bonuses] because they must be roped into certain corners without us knowing if they are receiving what is due to them.

“It must be said so that we can judge whether they received their money or not. If it’s not said in public, but said in some private arraignment, [then it can be that] instead of R1m each player gets R500,000, and they [Safa] say, ‘We never said we were going to give you R1m’. But we will never know what the commitment is.

“[Confederation of African Football president] Patrice Motsepe does it very well [as owner of Mamelodi Sundowns] — he announces how much the players will get.

“But those are the debates for another day. We are not ignorant of the fact that we need drastic changes in the leadership of Safa.

“We need talent. And that talent is hidden in the townships and villages. And how do you unearth that talent?

“You need to revive schools’ sports. Schools’ sports has collapsed. And once you revive it you are going to realise the people you are looking for are in that space.

“There is not sufficient investment in development.”

Jordaan on Wednesday again declined to divulge the figure of bonuses the Bafana players will receive for placing third, earning Safa R47m in prize money from Caf.