Safa looks into ‘fraud­ster’ boss

CityPress - - Sport - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­press.co.za

Safa is go­ing to in­sti­tute an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions of mis­use of funds by one of its re­gional pres­i­dents.

This comes in the wake of the Safa West Coast re­gion be­ing the latest football struc­ture to be em­broiled in a mis­man­age­ment scan­dal. Some mem­bers want in­cum­bent pres­i­dent Gerald Don out, as they ac­cuse the for­mer cop of mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of funds.

In re­sponse, Safa chief ex­ec­u­tive Dennis Mum­ble said they were tak­ing the al­le­ga­tions se­ri­ously and would launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“We will not tol­er­ate any cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties in any of our re­gions,” warned Mum­ble. “But we must first in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tions and get all the ev­i­dence be­fore we can move for­ward. We take these al­le­ga­tions se­ri­ously and urge those with in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward.”

Five sources from the Western Cape struc­ture, who asked not be named for fear of vic­tim­i­sa­tion, claimed Don was not fit to hold of­fice be­cause of a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for fraud.

The Safa con­sti­tu­tion, un­der ar­ti­cle 32, deal­ing with the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive – which Don is a part of – reads: “Mem­bers must not have been pre­vi­ously found guilty of a crim­i­nal of­fence and sen­tenced to a pe­riod of im­pris­on­ment with­out the op­tion of a fine and have res­i­dency within the ter­ri­tory of the coun­try.”

The football gov­ern­ing body’s elec­toral code, un­der ar­ti­cle 9, also states that “per­sons con­victed of a crime in­volv­ing fraud are not el­i­gi­ble for elec­tive of­fice in the as­so­ci­a­tion or any of its mem­bers”.

How­ever, Mum­ble said Don was cleared by the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) to stand for elec­tions. “We did run his sit­u­a­tion with our le­gal coun­sel and he was al­lowed to run for the elec­tions af­ter the IEC said he was el­i­gi­ble.” The Cape Town football re­gional as­so­ci­a­tion ac­cuses Don of:

Mis­man­age­ment of Fifa Legacy Trust funds – meant for de­vel­op­ment – “amount­ing to plus-mi­nus R500 000”;

With­draw­ing monies from the re­gion’s ac­count with­out per­mis­sion from the re­gional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (REC) mem­bers;

Not be­ing ac­count­able for amounts of R200 000 de­posited in De­cem­ber, and R125 000 paid in July;

Hav­ing one mem­ber who re­signed al­most two years ago still among the re­gion’s four sig­na­to­ries;

Fail­ure to con­firm a date for the re­gional elec­tions that were sup­posed to take place in Jan­uary; and

That he should not have been elected pres­i­dent in the first place, as he had a prior fraud con­vic­tion.

One of the sources said there were “def­i­nitely in­con­sis­ten­cies” in the re­gion’s trans­ac­tions.

“We are busy with the process to re­move him af­ter large amounts of cash were with­drawn from the Safa West Coast ac­count with­out per­mis­sion from the REC. We don’t know how much we have re­ceived from Safa [na­tion­ally] since 2010. [Don] can’t with­draw the money from the ac­count when he hasn’t sat with the com­mit­tee first. On July 17, an amount of R125 000 was de­posited into the re­gion’s ac­count and R110 000 was with­drawn a day later,” said a source.

Another source said: “There were no ac­tiv­i­ties in De­cem­ber, but monies were with­drawn dur­ing that pe­riod af­ter R200 000 was paid [by Safa na­tional]. We are still try­ing to es­tab­lish how much went out since that pe­riod, but it could be plus-mi­nus R500 000.”

City Press has seen the re­gion’s let­ter­head, which still bears the names of for­mer mem­bers, in­clud­ing one who re­signed al­most two years ago but re­mains among the re­gion’s four sig­na­to­ries.

Con­fronted with these al­le­ga­tions, Don ad­mit­ted to hav­ing with­drawn monies and hav­ing a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion.

He said the ac­cu­sa­tions were a way to “dis­credit me be­cause we are go­ing for elec­tions. Any­one who comes up with these al­le­ga­tions must do so on an open plat­form. Why are they hid­ing?” a fum­ing Don asked. “Yes, monies were with­drawn and I will ac­count for ev­ery cent. We have a clean au­dit that I will present be­fore the com­mit­tee, and we have un­til De­cem­ber to re­port to the Legacy Trust.

“I spent my own money in run­ning the re­gion be­cause we never re­ceived grants from Safa for two years when An­thony Mlata was the pres­i­dent. I spent R70 000 from my own pocket for the coach­ing course last month. When Safa pays, I am en­ti­tled to take my own money.” He in­sisted he had noth­ing to hide. “I don’t need a cover-up from any­one. What has my crim­i­nal record got to do with these [al­le­ga­tions] when the five years had lapsed be­fore I was elected? That is the Com­pa­nies Act and we are a com­pany. Why was I elected again?”

As for the for­mer mem­ber who was still part of the sig­na­to­ries de­spite hav­ing re­signed, Don said: “He is never avail­able to ac­com­pany us to the bank to make the change. What can we do?”

But a source close to the two projects said: “We never had the ref­er­ees work­shop. It was only early this year that we had a coach­ing course.”

Don said the ref­er­ees’ work­shop would start soon, with the sec­ond phase sched­uled for the first week of Septem­ber.

He said the elec­tion date would only be con­firmed once the fi­nan­cial re­port had been ap­proved.

PHOTO: SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU / BACKPAGEPIX

HEAD MAN Safa CEO Dennis Mum­ble says his or­gan­i­sa­tion will not tol­er­ate cor­rup­tion

PHOTO: MILTON MALATSE BACKPAGEPIZ

AC­CUSED Safa West

Coast pres­i­dent Gerald Don

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