Patrice Motsepe elected New CAF President

The South African billionaire was elected unstopped during the 43rd General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), in Rabat, on Friday, 12 March, 2021.

In his acceptance speech, the new boss of the Confederation of African Football declared, “I’m absolutely confident that working together we will indeed succeed to make African football to be amongst the best in the world.”

Dr. Motsepe who becomes the seventh (7th) person to occupy the position of CAF President, begins his four-year term after being elected unopposed by the Member Associations of CAF. He replaces former president Malagasy-born Ahmad Ahmad who spent 4 years at that same position (2017-2021).

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who was in attendance in Rabat in his remarks during CAF’s General Assembly, commended the African Member Associates for the unity they have displayed in the last few weeks.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021, during a press conference in Johannesburg, the newly elect CAF President raised the bar for national teams on the continent by insisting one of them must win the Soccer World Cup soon. “I am confident African football will succeed, become self sufficient, and the best in the world,” predicted the owner of 2016 CAF Champions League winners Mamelodi Sundowns. “We must stop being excessively pessimistic and negative (about the World Cup), there is no continent that has succeeded by dwelling on its failures”, he added.

AFCON every two years

Motsepe vowed to visit the 54 CAF Member Associations in the next nine to twelve months.

He confirmed that again in his press conference. "I will hold two more meetings this year with all the presidents of CAF Member Associations and we will discuss urgent measures there," he disclosed.

In the same vein, " Total AFCON , at present, must take place every two years", adding, however, that it was not closed to a discussion with partners", he added.

The mining magnate promised to quit after his four-year term if CAF “does not make real progress” under his leadership.

A golden CV

Patrice Motsepe, the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, became a billionaire in 2008, the first black African on the Forbes list.

In 2016, he launched a new private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa.

Patrice Motsepe was born on January 28, 1962 in a township of Soweto. Like most township youth of those years, he had to work hard to find his way in life. But his parents were a little better off. His father, a teacher, his mother owned a small network of grocery stores offering the possibility of providing their seven children with a private Catholic educational establishment of better quality than public establishments accessible to black populations.

After studying law, he worked for a while in the United States and then returned to South Africa. He then put his skills to work for the African National Congress (ANC), which was preparing to take power at that time and was working on the government’s mining policy.

In 1994, he became a specialist in mining and commercial law at a time when apartheid officially ended in his country. He first worked in a law firm, and then later became an entrepreneur. He later started his own company called Future Mining which collected gold dust from interior wells. In 1997, he bought low-producing gold mine shafts and later turned them profitable.

He became a mining magnate and a member of several executive committees including Harmony Gold and the South African insurance group Sanlam. In 2013, he joined The Giving Pledge and donated half of his fortune to this charity to promote health and education.

Club president

Despite his large fortune in the gold mines industry, Patrice Motsepe entered the football business in the 2000s. In 2004, he bought the football club Mamelodi Sundowns based in Pretoria which is one of the top 10 best on the continent. The club won the CAF Champions League in 2016 and the African Super Cup in 2017 and several other awards. A track record that gave him wings as he started seeing himself on the roof of African football.

Prior to Dr Motsepe's engagement for the battle for CAF Presidency, his compatriot Danny Jordaan, president of the South African Football Association declared: “We are convinced that his business acumen, his strict respect for governance, legal training, his global commercial network, his commitment and his love for African and world football makes him a revolutionary choice for the leadership of African football”.

CAF Board

President: Patrice Motsepe

- Secretary General: Véron Mosengo-Omba (Congo/Switzerland)

- 1st Vice-President: Augustin Senghor (Sénégal)

- 2nd Vice-President: Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania)

- 3rd Vice-President: Suleiman Waberi (Djibouti)

- 4th Vice-President: Seidou Mbombo Njoya (Cameroon)

- 5th Vice-President: Kanizat Ibrahim (Comores)

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