Joint position of SRSA and SASCOC on SAFA | SASCOC - SASCOC

Joint position of SRSA and SASCOC on SAFA

The Ministry of Sport and Recreation South Africa was informed of the crisis within SAFA as early as November 2010.

The crisis and pending implosion of the Federation was reported to the Ministry through official sources within Government, reliable sources within SAFA, official presentations from SASCOC and concerned South Africans in their different capacities as business or community leaders. The Ministry also painstakingly observed a barrage of negative publicity and public outcry precipitated by allegations of leadership squabbles, financial mismanagement and maladministration. Amid all these reports that were hurting football and damaging brand South Africa, the Ministry remained steadfast in its resolve to support SAFA in the interest of the most popular sporting code in our country, namely, football. The unwavering support provided to SAFA on and off the field is well documented. The on going support provided to the Federation in hosting continental and international events is unsurpassed. The continued support provided to the Federation during continental and international campaigns and Championships speaks volumes about the Government, SASCOC, fans, sponsors and the people of South Africas commitment for the progress of football.

However, in the post FIFA 2010 World Cup period and in recent months SAFA has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Football loving South Africans have  been exposed to diatribes and serious allegations ranging from, inter alia; match-fixing or match manipulation of the warm up games in preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup allegations surrounding the use and disbursement of the FIFA Legacy Trust Funds, allegations based on the KPMG report into SAFA financials revealing that SAFA is 92 million Rands in the red and in the brink of bankruptcy, to allegations of an anonymous dossier that was delivered at SASCOC office. Though it must be pointed out that the Ministry does not place much credence on a report from nameless and faceless people, we however do welcome testing of the veracity of the report by the competent law enforcement agencies.

Over and above the aforementioned allegations, there has been tensions protracted and perennial problem of mishandling leadership and management disputes. These played themselves out on the eve of our hosting the AFCON Orange Cup of Nations 2013. It took our intervention as the Ministry of Sport and Recreation and SASCOC to request the SAFA leadership to desist from engaging in public spats or making pronouncements that will bring the name of football into disrepute. The Ministry requested that SAFA revisit discussions on any matter of dispute post our hosting of AFCON.

Indeed SAFA have deliberated on these contentious matters and resolved to approach the Ministry of Sport and Recreation South Africa, supported by SASCOC, to appoint an independent judicial investigation. SAFA further stated their intention to be part of the team that will construct the terms of reference, scope the investigations and appointment of the retired Judge to oversee the investigation.

SASCOC was subsequently approached by SAFA with a view to support their motion and present a joint request to the Minister for consideration.

The Ministry of Sport and Recreation South Africa met the SASCOC delegation and received a report from SASCOC that clearly stated that, given the nature of the allegations mentioned above, SASCOC is of the firm view that the Minister must be requested to approach the President with a view to request him to set up a Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the affairs of SAFA.

There have been representations from both SAFA and SASCOC to the Ministry jointly and individually.

We have also witnessed allegations of interference reportedly made by SAFA about the Ministry to FIFA. It is for this reason and this reason only that the Minister travelled to FIFA to clarify that there was no interference and no intentions to interfere. The Ministry and SASCOCs involvement was by SAFAs invitation. Secondly in terms of our legislation as a sovereign government that promulgates laws for the establishment of the Confederation, Federations and other sports bodies we are empowered by the same laws to intervene in reported instances of maladministration and mismanagement. We indicated that in terms of our laws match-fixing/match manipulation and financial mismanagement are considered as acts of criminality.

The point was also made that we as the Ministry are not privileged to appoint Commissions, only the President can do so in terms of the Commissions Act. It is also the Presidents prerogative to construct the terms of reference, define the scope and set the time-frames. In the same vein, our laws are laws that do not promote conflict of interest. In other words a person who is a subject of an investigation cannot be party to setting up the investigation.

Where to from here?

The Ministry believes that consultation with all the interested parties has been exhausted and that all of the parties have been given ample time to make their case. It is our belief that at this stage we know what is SAFAs position on the investigation, we are mindful of FIFAs position and we are clear on SASCOCs position and request for the Minister to approach the President to set up a Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the affairs of SAFA.

The Ministry of Sport and Recreation South Africa wishes to express its gratitude to all those who have taken the trouble to consult, advise and support in the resolution of this matter. From now going forward the matter is in the hands of the South African Government and we will consider it, taking into account the merits and demerits of each proposal to us. We do not expect any comments on the matter until the Government have pronounced on the course of action to be taken concerning the South African Football Association.


am a student at Tshwane university of technology, am doing recreation management level 2. i want to get in touch with the South African department of sport and recreation so that when am done with my studies i will know which doors to knock on, and how my career path will stand