Danny Jordaan has started his third term as president of the SA Football Association (Safa) by apologising to the media for chaos that erupted at a press conference on the eve of Saturday’s elections.
The trouble started when journalists were prevented from asking Jordaan about his suitability for the position in the conference in Johannesburg, as opposed to them only learning about preparations for the elections being held the next day. Jordaan was challenged on the fact that very little progress has been made in South African football in his previous terms.
The poor performance of the various national teams was seen as a highlight of Jordaan’s apparent shortcomings, but Safa members attempted to silence the journalists in attendance.
The next day, the 70-year-old administrator ended up defeating his rivals by a landslide margin in the Safa elections to have another term as head man.
Apologies for Friday’s mess.
This was followed on Sunday by the man from Gbeqerha, as well as Safa chief executive Tebogo Motlanthe, apologising for Friday’s mess.
Jordaan and Motlanthe offered their “unconditional apology” to ENCA journalist Hloni Mtimkulu after she was impeded from doing her job as she filmed a heated exchange between a National Executive Committee member and other members of the media.
They also offered their apology to other members of the media who had a spat with Safa members.
“We had an incident there which we condemn totally,” Dr Jordaan said.
“You know that my own history is a history of struggle for freedom of the press, freedom of speech and therefore as an institution, as an organisation we have to apologise for what happened on Friday.
“I think it is the first time in my long memory of football and we do not want it to happen again.”
The Safa president said members of the media are valuable partners and similar unsavoury scenes cannot be allowed to happen ever again. Motlanthe, an advocate, said they immediately spoke to the Safa members about the incident after the issue had been brought to their attention
Motlanthe said the Elective Congress held under the watchful eye of world football governing body FIFA and the Confederation of African Football was a huge success.
Dr Jordaan received 186 votes to comfortably win the elective race on a landslide. His rivals Ria Ledwaba and Solly Mohlabeng received 27 votes and eight respectively.
“We had a successful Congress, success in that we had FIFA and CAF (as obsevers). The Governance Committee ran the process and we did not receive a single objection from any of the members.
“Starting with the credentials, they were adopted. You know in some quarters, the credentials are the ones that break meetings. Here the credentials were adopted and the elections took place, all the members who were accredited took part.”