Profile: Can the bright South African lawyer who transformed distressed mines in his country do the same for African football?

11 March 2021

Motsepe
Photo: Alamy "...There is no one in Africa who has lost more money in football than I have. It’s a stupid love. African football must become the best in the world. It won’t happen overnight, but that is the test of what we are going to do over the next few years," says Patrice Motsepe, the South African mining magnate extraordinaire, who on Friday will be crowned the new CAF president at the organization’s 43rd general assembly in Rabat, Morocco.

Tomorrow Patrice Motsepe will become the new CAF president at the organization’s 43rd general assembly in Rabat, Morocco.

Why did Motsepe, Africa’s ninth-richest man with an estimated wealth of $3 billion, decide to enter the murky world of politics at CAF?

"Can you imagine - a young smart black man carrying a briefcase walking onto a mine?” Motsepe built his mining empire after he had pivoted away from the legal profession.

Motsepe, his backers argue, will introduce good governance and best practice from industry at CAF.

“It’s proven that Motsepe is Gianni Infantino’s man,” say other sources who are nervous that Motsepe will ultimately provide Infantino with even more power.

Samindra Kunti contact@offthepitch.com

Motsepe strikes gold again.

In recent weeks, Africa’s football fraternity has been consumed by the question of who will become the continent’s new football supremo, discarding the disgraced former president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad, from office. On Friday, following weeks of intrigue, double deals and politicking, Patrice Motsepe, South African mining magnate extraordinaire, will be crowned the new CAF president at the organization’s 43rd general assembly in Rabat, Morocco.

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