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'Ninety percent probability' Ledwaba's camp will take Safa election to court

Ria Ledwaba attends the SA Football Association elective congress at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on June 25 2022.
Ria Ledwaba attends the SA Football Association elective congress at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on June 25 2022.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

There is a “90% probability” Ria Ledwaba will challenge the SA Football Association (Safa) elections in court, a source from her camp said.

Ledwaba challenged for the Safa presidency in the elective congress at Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday, but garnered 27 votes as incumbent Danny Jordaan secured a third term with 186 votes.

Ledwaba unsuccessfully brought an urgent application to the Pretoria high court to stop the election, alleging numerous procedural irregularities. The judge ruled against that application based on it not being urgent and not the merits of the case brought by Ledwaba’s legal representatives.

Judge Brenda Neukircher added that Ledwaba had recourse to take the matter on review in the courts after the election.

A source, who did not want to be named, said Ledwaba’s camp is consulting lawyers on going back to court.

 “We are meeting senior counsels to try to get a better view and many different lawyers to see what the options are, but haven’t taken a decision yet,” the source said.

“But I can tell you it’s a 90% probability that it will be taken up in court.

“Not the election result itself necessarily, but to have all those procedural defects heard by the court because they had a cumulative affect on the elections.

“Despite what Safa claims, the judge did not dismiss the application to stop the elections on the merits — it was a matter of urgency.

“The strongest issue here is the merits. But because there are so many cases — some went to Sascoc [the SA Olympic committee], the Vhembe region dispute, Harry Gwala, Nelson Mandela Bay, Mopane and the cases in the North West — still outstanding, the question is how we deal with all of those.

“Because all of those are talking to how Safa systematically removed leadership around the country to show what Safa considered to be a united, or near united vote for Danny Jordaan.”

The source said a new alleged defect that would be added to any court matter is Ledwaba’s camp allege there were two more votes counted than what should have been the official total.

They allege 51 of the 52 regions voted. Regions have four votes each, so 51 would have constituted 204 votes, plus six from the Premier Soccer League and nine from the associate members would make the total 219.

But the vote count was 186 to Jordaan, 27 to Ledwaba and eight to Solly Mohlabeng, which totals 221.

Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said the association, having successfully combated numerous court attempts to stop the elective congress, was confident it would win should Ledwaba challenge the election.

“Whatever they raise we are ready to take it up and we will put our defence forward because we believe they don’t have a case — it’s just a political marathon,” Motlanthe said.

On an alleged discrepancy in the vote count, Motlanthe said: “If they had an objection they should have raised it. I was not running the election.

“Maybe there would be a better response from the company that was running the election.”

Motlanthe added there were nine spoilt ballots and three ruined ballots. That would make the total 231, which would still make for a discrepancy.

“The only ones who could explain that is the electoral commission.

“All procedures were followed and as I have said again and again, Danny Jordaan and Safa never ran those elections, they were run independently.

“At the end of the day the truth will come out and it will be clear who was right.”

Ledwaba  could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing. Her comment will be added if she does respond later.

TimesLIVE


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