Ministerial Inquiry Finds Sascoc To Be Dysfunctional

A YouTube screengrab of Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa releasing the report into Sascoc on 7 December 2018.

CAPE TOWN – The final report of a ministerial inquiry to investigate alleged irregularities or malpractices in the governance and management of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has been released and it paints a bleak picture of the running of the organisation.

The committee was headed by retired Judge Ralph Zulman (Chairperson) and was assisted by Dr Ali Bacher and attorney Shamima Gaibie.

The commission of inquiry found that factionalism handicapped the performance of the Sascoc board which manifested in failing in their mandate of looking out for the interest of sport, essentially labelling the board as dysfunctional.

The report blows wide open the alleged rampant maladministration at the Olympic body. The report noted that there was “an absence of compliance for appropriate governance and procurement processes and policies” while iterating that excessive resources spent on legal fees relating to disputes.

With regards to the factionalism, president Gideon Sam was accused of manipulating and deliberately excluding certain broad members from key information and decisions about Sascoc.

The Olympic body is in charge of sending teams to major games and awarding colours but it was found that a minuscule amount of time was spent on sport, which is their mandate.

When making procurement of business decisions, there was no compliance with basic principles of ethics, transparency, accountability, good governance or with policies and procedures – including financial affairs – there was a significant lack of corporate governance.

A handful of Sascoc board members sat on various other boards which were directly linked to Sascoc funding and raided a case which created a conflict of interest.

Sacked former CEO Tubby Reddy was not spared, as it was found that the board dealt with sexual harassment allegations in a lackadaisical fashion.

The former CEO was in charge of awarding national colours, which were open to manipulation but also unlawful.

His role in the Griffin Report and submission to the then minister is a contravention of Sascoc policies. It was labelled as unethical and dishonest and amounted to fraudulent misrepresentation.

His payment to SS Griffin for services rendered and were not substantiated and is inappropriate and irregular, in essence, making Sascoc’s policies on procurement wholly inadequate.

The excessive travel and subsistence perks for board members and management amounted to abuse of money and public funds. The benefits were out of sync with the principles of effective and efficient management.

The report’s recommendations include a change in law which will clarify the role of Sascoc and make it more accountable to the Sports Department.

It also recommends that Sascoc overhaul its structure with an independent person occupying the presidency as well as an independent accountant and lawyer.