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Molefi Nathanael Oliphant (1952 - )

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Molefi Nathanael Oliphant (1952 - ) Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the development of soccer in South Africa and excellent leadership in the successful bid and hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Profile of Molefi Nathanael Olifant

Few in the country occupy the haloed space of sports administration and leadership, especially of soccer, as does Mr Molefi Nathanael Oliphant. He was born on 6 March 1952 in Kroonstad, Free State. He started his working career as a teacher in 1975 at Lekoa Shandu High School (Sharpeville), rising to the rank of principal in 1983 at Lebohang High School (Boipatong) and was later promoted to become an Inspector of Schools in 1993. 

He capped his educational professional experience by holding the post of District Director of Education in the Sedibeng West District of the Gauteng Department of Education in 1995. His educational qualifications include Bachelor of Arts (University of South Africa), 1982; Bachelor of Education (University of the Witwatersrand), 1988; Masters of Education in Education Management (North West University), 2007; and an Honorary Doctorate (D.Tech) in Sports Management (Vaal University of Technology), 2006.

Mr Molefi Oliphant‘s work in football administration began at grassroots level where he held leadership positions in the Vaal Region. He went on to become the Treasurer of the then Soccer Association of South Africa, a position he held until 1991.

After being a vice president of the South African Football Association (Safa) for a period of four years, Mr Molefi Oliphant ascended to the position of President of Safa, whereafter serving for three terms; he decided not to stand for re-election. In recognition of his monumental contribution to the development of football in the country, Safa conferred him with the title of Honorary Life President.

In addition, Mr Oliphant is currently the second vice-president and executive member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). He has held various positions in local and international football structures, including the National Olympic Committee of South Africa, Council for Southern African Football Association executive member, FIFA and CAF match commissioner, FIFA Appeal Board member, member of the World Cup Organising Committee South Africa and Deputy Head of Delegation for both the Germany and South Africa FIFA world cups. 

These leadership qualities have not gone unrewarded, as attested to by a host of honours and awards bestowed to Mr Oliphant, including the Special State Award by former President Nelson Mandela in recognition of service to South Africa football, International Olympic Committee Award for remarkably contributing as a volunteer towards the development of sport and Olympism, Super Sport Recognition Award, Award Recognition for serving Safa continuously for 10 years, Order of the Disa Officer: Province of Western Cape, CAF 50 Years Golden Jubilee Award, Safa Presidential Award and a FIFA Merit Award, both in 2010.

We are proud to honour Mr Molefi Nathaniel Oliphant with the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold for his excellent contribution to the development of soccer and his participation in ensuring that South Africa won the bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and held a successful tournament.