Safa’s Nematandani is back
A decision to put Safa president Kirsten Nematandani and four staff members on special leave amid a match-fixing scandal has been reversed.
The South African Football Association (Safa) announced today that the national executive committee (NEC) had reversed the decisions taken by its emergency committee.
The decisions included that Nematandani and four staff members – acting CEO Dennis Mumble, head of referees Adeel Carelse, Bafana Bafana manager Barney Kujane and head of national teams Lindile “Ace” Jika – be put on “special leave”.
However, following a meeting with Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Nematandani told the media that these decisions had been reversed.
The NEC took a decision to refer the Fifa report on match fixing to the legal committee who will then table its recommendations at the next meeting which will probably take place after the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) that runs from the 19th to February 10.
The NEC felt that the decisions had been taken without following due process.
Addressing the media, Mbalula said: “I am happy to report that a spirit of good will prevailed right through the meeting.
“There was a recognition and agreement that matters of corruption must be addressed fully and be dealt with decisively and not be swept under the carpet.”
He, however, insisted that issues should not be clouded with political agendas and power struggles.
He said with the continent expected to descend on South Africa for the Afcon that starts in two weeks’ time, the Safa leadership needed to focus on the tournament.
“I am confident that the Safa leadership has it in themselves to provide guidance and mobilise the society to support the Afcon,” he said.
“When people come here on the 19th (the day the tournament kicks off), they must find us ready. Other matters can be dealt with after the Afcon.”