By Khotso Molekane
Shakes mashaba has been fired by the South African Football Association for the second time as Bafana Bafana national coach. The first time he was fired was during Bafana’s preparations for the Confederations Cup. His sin was not that he had lost important games or that he was incompetent. His sin was that he refused to field players who did not show commitment to the national side – namely Quinton Fortune and Benny McCarthy. The person behind it all was none other than the former ANC MP, the then and current President of SAFA, Danny Jordaan who just come back from a stint as a Mayor of Port Elizabeth and unsuccessful mayoral candidate.
Jordaan has again managed to pull-off the same feat by expelling Mashaba as Head Coach of Bafana Bafana. Apparently his crime has nothing to do with the performance of his side on the pitch but everything to do with his lack of decorum towards Jordaan. Why is Jordaan so determined that Mashaba’s performance will not be evaluated by how Bafana Bafana performs but by considerations that have nothing to do with the beautiful game?
We know how his performance was evaluated as a mayor. How do we measure his performance as a soccer administrator? Do we look at the performance of the national teams for the last decade or so when he was at the helm? If the buck stops at the door of the SAFA, how come he has never taken responsibility for Bafana Bafana’s poor performance and resigned? Maybe we should confine ourselves to his role as an administrator so as not to contradict ourselves.
In 1996, the then Minister of Sports, Steve Tshwete, instituted a commision of inquiry into claims that SAFA’s leadership had unlawfully channeled SAFA funds into a swiss acount. The commission was led by the Eastern Cape High Court judge, Judge Jan Pickard. The commission failed to find any evidence of SAFA funds that were stashed in a swiss account. The commission then morphed into a ‘find anything wrong at SAFA’. The commission then found the Secretary General of SAFA at the time, Stix Morewa to have received R3000.00 from the SAFA bursary fund and a commission of R700000.00 for negotiating a sponsorship deal with ASI. There was nothing in SAFA’s policies that prohibited that arrangement. We saw similar rewards for cricket leadership.
The judge found against the leadership of SAFA including Jordaan in the above matters. Morewa was forced to resign and Jordaan, who was part of the leadership of SAFA during this time, was suddenly the saviour and a paragon of clean governance. Shouldn’t he have left then? Is accountability not the hallmark of good governance?
I think we need a clean break at SAFA leadership level. We have nothing to show for all the decades when Jordan has been an administrator at SAFA. As for Shakes, for as long as he wins, promotes young talent and improves our ranking, I say let him stay.