Nxesi's commissions of inquiry 'a waste of taxpayers’ money': DA

28 August 2017 - 10:46
By Marc Strydom
The scene outside FNB Stadium after the stampede that killed two people.
Image: Twitter The scene outside FNB Stadium after the stampede that killed two people.

The Democratic Alliance believes that Sports Minister Thembelani ‘Thulas’ Nxesi is wasting taxpayers’ money instituting commissions of inquiry into a stampede at a soccer match at FNB Stadium and allegations of misconduct at Sascoc.

Nxesi announced the two ministerial commissions last week.

One is into an incident at the preseason Carling Black Label Cup soccer match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on July 29 where two fans lost their lives and 17 were injured.

The other is into allegations of mismanagement at the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

DA member of parliament and shadow sports minister Tsepo Mhlongo said in the case of the soccer inquiry‚ guidelines are in place from the recommendations made after the 2001 Ellis Park disaster.

He said the Safety at Sports and Recreation Events Act 2 of 2010 (Sasrea Act) was legally binding and had to be adhered to by the Premier Soccer League and South African Football Association.

He said instead of a commission‚ the government need only ensure that the PSL and Safa were complying with those.

He pointed out that the PSL is instituting its own inquiry into the events at FNB Stadium.

“(The) Minister should wait another week before spending probably millions for a ministerial investigation by a retired judge‚” Mhlongo told TimesLIVE in an email.

“However Sport must be cleaned out forever‚ and those with vested interests must be identified and be exposed.

“Open‚ transparent and clean governance is what sport in SA urgently needs‚ not further persons (personal) fights to score points.

“The main fight is between ANC affiliated members and historical sport movements. Sport must not be used for ANC battles before their Dec (December) Congress.”

Speaking on the phone‚ Mhlongo said the guidelines were there in terms of stadium security and it was up to the PSL and Safa to apply them.

“The issue is that Safa and the PSL know that things must be done accordingly. There were recommendations made after the Ellis Park disaster‚ ” he said.

“So in a sense that‚ the inquiry might be necessary but I think it’s a waste of time.

“There is also the Sasrea Act. So the PSL and Safa know what the requirements are.

“The PSL has its own inquiry. (And) they know exactly what the recommendations of the Sasrea Act are.”

The DA also feels‚ Mhlongo said‚ that for Nxesi’s inquiry into football to be effective it should broaden its terms not just into issues of stadium security‚ but also conflicts of interests in the administration of the sport.

“Irvin Khoza is the chairperson of the PSL and the owner of Orlando Pirates. There is a conflict of interest‚” he said.

“Who requests permission to whom? You cannot request permission to yourself.

“Those are the things where we say they (the department of Sport and Recreation) are playing with us. Instead of interrogating the actual issues‚ they are just coming up with inquiries.”

Mhlongo said an internal report already exists documenting allegations of mismanagement at Sascoc.

“On Sascoc‚ we know that there is an issue with the CEO (Tubby Reddy)‚ and financial management. Even with Sascoc‚ they have their own report and findings. And I believe the minister has that report.

“Now we have to come up with an inquiry. I’m saying‚ they (Sport and Recreation) know what the problem is‚ but now they have to come up with an inquiry instead of just dealing with it.”