Safa bickering and insults overshadow Afcon success

Infighting and bickering at South African Football Association (Safa) is continuing unabated. Even after a successful 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, where Bafana Bafana achieved the unthinkable by winning a bronze medal, the national association finds itself having to quell fires from its high-ranking officials.

Technical director Walter Steenbok is embroiled in a bitter spat with head of women’s football Romaney Pinnock. Steenbok is also having a squabble with national executive committee member David Moloantoa.

Things came to a head when women’s football league sponsors Hollywood Bets, organised a workshop.

Pinnock was scheduled to give a keynote presentation during the symposium but Steenbok told the event organiser to remove her from the programme.

Pinnock insisted she would attend. Steenbok then instructed Safa security to stop Pinnock from entering Safa House offices, which they did.

Pinnock then made it clear that she wants to report to Safa CEO Lydia Monyepao and not Steenbok. After being barred from entering Safa House, she packed her bags and is now working from home in Cape Town. Pinnock confirmed she has been working from home, but declined to elaborate and referred inquiries to media officer Mninawa Ntloko.

Pinnock needs to be involved with Banyana Banyana, with the African champions playing their penultimate Olympic Games qualifiers against Tanzania this week. It has emerged that Safa president Danny Jordaan and Monyepao have not dealt with this intense matter.

In another quarrel, Steenbok was due to visit the North West region, which Moloantoa chairs, but the former requested a postponement, something that resulted in a heated e-mail exchange, which Sunday World has seen.

Read part of Moloantoa’s response to Steenbok’s meeting request: “It is being disrespectful of yourselves to convene a meeting of such an important committee in the manner in which you are doing. This shows the attitude of the technical director who doesn’t respect anybody but himself. We are employees elsewhere and need to arrange leave for volunteer services that we render to Safa but for someone to just wake up and decide to convene an impromptu meeting is total disregard of ourselves.

“I have noted your insult on me and don’t take kindly to it. I humbly request you to publicly withdraw such insult as [it is] demeaning of my character and integrity or face legal consequences/litigation. You have 12 hours to do so or face the music.”

 This is how Steenbok replied: “I have noted your continuous stupid insinuations about me over a period of time… You could not wait to show your character and hatred towards me.

“This meeting was called by the chairman of the technical committee (Jack Maluleka) so your attack on me is stupid and disrespectful.

“Wa ntlwaela wena (you are talking nonsense) Moloantoa. Go ahead and I will be waiting.”

Monyepao had not responded to Sunday World at the time of going to print.

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