Durban – South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has issued a public apology after a member of its executive committee was seen involved in a scuffle with journalists in scenes which were broadcast on eNCA.
“Re-elected SAFA president Dr Danny Jordaan and CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe have unreservedly apologised to the members of the media following an unfortunate incident that played out on Friday in Sandton on the eve of the Elective Congress,” said a statement that was released by SAFA.
The recent SAFA Presidential elections which was won convincingly by Jordaan was marred by controversy. Supporters of the main opposition candidate Ria Ledwaba staged a protest outside the venue and former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba was apparently removed from the venue after asking for an opportunity to speak.
After the elections, Mashaba lashed out at the state of football in the country claiming that “change is needed” and saying that football in the country is “run by crooks”.
“Dr Jordaan and Adv 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,” added the statement.
Jordaan’s camp have been criticised for their treatment of the press during his successful campaign to win a third term as SAFA President. The 70-year-old has insisted that he is committed to press freedom.
“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,” said Jordaan.
Meanwhile, SAFA CEO Motlanthe condemned the supporters of Ledwaba who protested outside the venue.
“We started the day very well, but there were people who started a protest outside the Convention Centre and who wanted to cause problems because they were angry. We would like to thank security for dealing with those incidents.
“We had a successful Congress, success in that we had FIFA and CAF as observers. The Governance Committee ran the process and we did not receive a single objection from any of the members,” said Motlanthe.