The Democratic Alliance has called for the resignation of South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan, saying the association’s constitution does not allow him to remain in his position while serving as mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay.
The ANC announced on Monday that Jordaan would take the reins at the troubled municipality. He replaces the 83-year-old incumbent Benson Fihla.
DA sports spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the party was concerned that Jordaan’s role of mayor would compromise the independence required for fulfilling the role as a Safa office bearer.
“Article 3.1 of the Safa constitution expressly stipulates that ‘Safa is neutral in matters of politics and religion’,” said Malatsi.
He said Jordaan’s occupation of both roles would make him the most politically partisan sports administrator in the country.
“His deployment as a cadre of the ANC to a highly volatile political arena when Safa is just recovering from a lengthy period of instability does not bode well for the continued recovery of Safa, which requires stable leadership at Safa House,” Malatsi said.
The Economic Freedom Fighters expressed the same opinion.
“Jordaan must resign from the association since he has chosen active politics and life as an ANC politician,” said national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
But Safa spokesperson Dominique Chimhavi said Jordaan did not have to resign because his position was a non-executive one.
“The president of rugby is not employed by rugby, the president of cricket is not employed by cricket, the presidents of all other associations across the globe are not employed by the associations,” said Chimhavi on Tuesday.
“It’s a norm globally that an association president is employed somewhere else.”
The Azanian People’s Organisation said they believed that Jordaan’s appointment was “a stunt and a desperate attempt by the ANC at self-healing – not a focus on delivering services to voters and ratepayers in the metro”.
The party, which has no representation in Parliament, said Jordaan did not have the skills to lead the metro.
“[The] ANC remains a menace to the development of the people of the metro, as [it] is to the people of the Eastern Cape and the country,” said spokesperson Funani ka Ntontela.