It is the old truisms that are proven time and time again: “Where there’s smoke there’s fire”, “If it smells like fish it is fish” and “Avoid men who drive with hats on”.
The citizens of Port Elizabeth have years smelled a fishy, smoky smell around the local political feeding trough.
Our last set of political dictators famously wore hats whilst this present set have a distinctive smoked fish aroma – proof once again that certain sectors of our population are the same despite years of trying to prove to the world that they weren’t! In a delicious irony we now observe that one set learned bad habits from the other. A situation now exists wherein our present set, in a classic case of playground transference, blames the last set (and everyone else not aligned with them) for being corrupt/racist/(insert negative word here).
In an interview with the SABC last week, Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor About to be Elected Today, Danny Jordaan undertook to pay urgent attention to forensic reports in the metro. This includes the Kabuso and Pikoli reports on alleged mismanagement and unlawful expenditure relating to the integrated public transport system. Although the reports were announced in 2014, no action has been taken against any of the officials named in the reports.
The Head of SAFA may just have another set of corrupt activities to deal with as South Africa and its football officials stand accused of buying the vote that landed the country the 2010 FIFA World Cup. A bid that Danny led and which ultimately saw the epic event being staged right here in South Africa and Danny’s home town of Port Elizabeth.
United States attorney general Loretta Lynch dropped her bombshell indictment on international football on Wednesday, alleging “corruption that is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted”, spanning two-and-a-half decades and multiple jurisdictions.
This alleged widespread bribery between officials of FIFA, of its member football associations, sports marketing companies and others sets out how South Africa allegedly bought three crucial votes by agreeing to pay $10-million. South Africa won that bid against Morocco by 14 votes to 10.
Implicated are the South African 2010 bid committee and “co-conspirator 15” and “co-conspirator 16”. The indictment describes each as a “high-ranking official” of both South Africa’s unsuccessful 2006 and triumphant 2010 bid committees.
The 2006 and 2010 committees included; about to be elected Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Danny Jordaan as chief executive and Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza as chair.
Whoever is involved as “conspirator” in this football scandal can expect no public support from the head of FIFA Sepp Blatter who said; “Let me be clear: such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game. Following the events of today, the independent Ethics Committee – which is in the midst of its own proceedings regarding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups – took swift action to provisionally ban those individuals named by the authorities from any football-related activities at the national and international level. These actions are on top of similar steps that FIFA has taken over the past year to exclude any members who violate our own Code of Ethics.”
A crying shame that a son of Port Elizabeth should be dragged through this. There is a school of thought that says he should remove himself from all high office until he is proven innocent. But, in this crazy world where we cannot hold our managers responsible for any misdeeds and the art of obfuscation is prevalent all we can do is moan.