Safa takes a swipe at former CEO Sedibe after defamation case postponed

Former Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe is intent on clearing his name after he was banned for match-fixing by Fifa.

FILE: Former South African Football Association (Safa) official, Leslie Sedibe, with his ttorney Stephen Thomson. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Football Association (Safa) has taken a swipe at former CEO Leslie Sedibe after his defamation case of R5 million, set for 22 February 2019, was postponed at the request of Sedibe's legal team.

Sedibe is intent on clearing his name after he was banned for match-fixing by Fifa. The world football governing body banned Sedibe for five years and fined him 20 000 Euros, this followed a Fifa probe into match-fixing in 2012.

Fifa’s statement on the investigation said: “Fifa has confirmed banning Ace Kika from all football-related activities for six years, Leslie Sedibe for five years and a fine of CHF20 000.

“Fifa has also imposed a two-year ban on both Steve Goddard and former head of referees Adeel Carelse. All bans come into force immediately.”

Subsequently, in June 2016 Sedibe instituted legal proceedings against Safa claiming an amount of R5 million in damages.

The basis for his claim was an allegation that two former Safa officials defamed him during the Fifa matter, specifically after another former Safa CEO Dennis Mumble and former official Lindile Kika gave information that Sedibe believes defamed him.

Safa says Sedibe’s legal team requested that the matter be postponed. The national football body added that Sedibe has changed his case significantly.

"The root cause of the postponement was that in January 2019 – more than two and half years after first launching the case – Mr Sedibe materially changed the nature of his claim against Safa. The case was therefore not properly ready to proceed."

Sedibe's representative David Swartz confirmed the postponement to EWN Sport and believes Safa withheld documents.

“We have agreed to a postponement, we will be applying for a new court date. We got new documents from Safa this week that we need to sift through."

"Several of these documents we have asked for before and Safa came under oath and said they don’t exist. When there are 200 pages of documents, you need to read them, so we agreed to a postponement.”

Earlier this year, Safa cautioned its former members against trying to destabilize or discredit the organisation relating.

They issued the warning after Sedibe went public with claims that South Africa’s football governing body was granted millions of rands illegally by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

In January, Sedibe also made allegations that the funding was acquired illegally from the NLC which was needed to help Bafana Bafana prepare for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

He said the cash came through after 2010 bid boss and current Safa President Danny Jordaan set up a meeting with Ajay Gupta and former President Jacob Zuma.

Sedibe also laid a criminal complaint in December and asked authorities to investigate Jordaan for his role in facilitating a $10 million payment to Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

In a strongly worded statement in January, Safa said it was going to take legal action against former members who are threatening its integrity.

Safa have rejected Sedibe's allegations.