Safa calls TD Steenbok to disciplinary hearing alleging gross misconduct

18 June 2024 - 11:31 By Mahlatse Mphahlele and Marc Strydom
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South African Football Association technical director Walter Steenbok.
South African Football Association technical director Walter Steenbok.
Image: Denvor de Wee/File

South African Football Association (Safa) technical director (TD) Walter Steenbok has been called to a disciplinary hearing next week on allegations of gross misconduct.

The hearing will be heard in Sandton on June 25.

Steenbok, who last week oversaw the graduation of coaches who completed their Caf A licence qualifications, faces five charges. Safa’s “notice to attend a disciplinary hearing”, which TimesLIVE has a copy of, states these include gross misconduct, gross mismanagement, gross negligence, gross dereliction of duties, gross insubordination and gross insolence.

Steenbok is charged with breaching Safa’s statutes, internal policies and procedures.

The TD will be asked to state his case regarding allegations of a hostile relationship with Safa’s head of women's football Romaney Pinnock and insulting national executive committee (NEC) member David Molwantwa.

Pinnock was allegedly manhandled out of Safa House on Steenbok’s instructions in January.

Among the allegations, the Safa document states since Pinnock’s appointment, reporting to Steenbok in July 2023, the technical director “failed and/or neglected and/or refused to provide Pinnock with any strategic direction/guidance, targets, ways of working, schedules or legacy documents, to assist her in tendering her services to Safa and meeting her contractual KPAs”.

After an NEC ratification of a proposal by Pinnock that she report directly to Safa CEO Lydia Monyepao, Steenbok allegedly stated in an e-mail the women’s football head had to “report directly to the technical director” and her plans “must be communicated to and approved by” the TD.

When Pinnock attempted to attend a coaching workshop on January 25 as an observer, Steenbok allegedly said, “Can the lady please leave”, Safa’s document states.

The TD allegedly wrote an e-mail on January 26 to Safa head of competitions Moremi Klip stating Pinnock was “barred from presenting and/or communicating on any matters related to the technical division, inclusive of the women's football strategy, on account of Pinnock having failed to seek permission from you [Steenbok] to present at the Hollywood Bets Super League Clubs’ Workshop, notwithstanding the foregoing was at the request of Klip”.

On January 28 “upon arrival at Safa House, Pinnock was informed by security personnel she was prohibited from entering the premises on account of you having issued an instruction to the foregoing effect”.

“After her gaining entry, acting on your instructions security personnel physically manhandled and removed Pinnock from Safa House.”

Molwantwa apparently complained of the short notice given for a technical committee meeting in February, saying he would disregard the notification until “proper processes” were followed.

Safa alleges Steenbok “recorded Molwantwa could not wait to display his character and hatred towards you; is not your friend and therefore he must respect you; was displaying his ‘low class’ in public; illustrated conduct that was stupid and disrespectful and ought to cease behaving like a ‘loose cannon’.”

Asked for comment, the association responded: “Thank you for the inquiry but we do not discuss internal Safa matters with members of the media because these are confidential.”

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