Ria Ledwaba: Disagree with Safa president & you're enemy number 1

Ledwaba and Mokoena were on Saturday removed as SAFA Vice-President’s following an NEC meeting where the Association said they had gone against the constitution by going public with internal matters.

Picture: Safa.

JOHANNESBURG - Ria Ledwaba believes her axing at the South African Football Association (Safa) comes as a result of her challenging President Danny Jordaan’s decision to ask Gay Mokoena to step down as acting CEO.

Ledwaba and Mokoena were on Saturday removed as Safa vice-presidents following an NEC meeting where the association said they had gone against the constitution by going public with internal matters.

Speaking to Eyewitness News on Sunday, acting chief executive officer (CEO) Tebogo Motlanthe said Ledwaba’s removal was related to her sending a letter to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa asking for intervention.

Speaking on her ousting, Ledwaba believes she became a target when she disagreed with Jordaan on Mokoena’s 15 April exit as CEO.

“When he wants something to be done, you cannot say no,” she revealed on 702’s SportsTalk. “If you say no, you are out. My sin is because when he removed Gay, I called him and I said ‘president I think you are making a big mistake. It’s during lockdown, why would you remove a CEO at this time? if it’s about finance, can you please speak to him so at least maybe you can reduce the salary or something like that’. And we did not agree. As soon as you do not agree with the president, you are an enemy number 1.”

In a leaked report sent to the NEC earlier this year, Mokoena accused Jordaan of running the association like his own kingdom and making decisions without the consultation of the NEC.

An accusation Ledwaba agrees with: “At the meeting, I said these are the five incidents that you as the NEC, all of us, know that was never decided in the NEC,” she acknowledged. “We have never challenged that, myself included. We have never challenged those kinds of governance. We left it like that so Dr. Jordaan continued to do as he wishes.”

Ledwaba said she planned to challenge her exit.

As for why members of the NEC might want her out, Ledwaba believes it's because they think she is after Jordaan’s position within the association.

“There is this belief that I might challenge the president or if he is charged, I might take over. But for the NEC to remove me from my position as an elected member because they are saying I am writing a letter, I’m still waiting to see the CEO (Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe) saying ‘she has violated article so and so’.”