Nxesi goes for Gideon Sam in Sascoc inquiry

25 August 2017 - 08:14
By Penwell Dlamini
Thulas Nxesi
Image: Supplied Thulas Nxesi

The president of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee Gideon Sam is the main target of a ministerial committee inquiry ordered by Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi.

This has been revealed in a letter‚ seen by TimesLIVE‚ which Nxesi wrote to Sam‚ giving reasons for his decision to appoint a ministerial committee of inquiry.

A number of issues to be investigated are listed by the minister in the letter. Among them is that Sam and certain members of the board have sided with him and are not complying with the Sascoc constitution.

Sam is also accused of personally responding to the minister of sport with regard to this issue instead of giving him a response that comes from the Sascoc board.

Nxesi further raises a lot of issues on the conduct of the Sascoc president that have to be investigated.

“Sascoc president allegedly overruled and dismissed the legal opinion of two senior counsels relative to the status of the provincial council and the associate member as to who would be eligible for election at the Sascoc quadrennial council meeting on 26 November 2016‚” Nxesi said.

This resulted in the president erroneously co-opting various individuals into the executive‚ thereby exceeding the requirements set out in the Sascoc constitution.

“The above-mentioned actions‚ among others‚ led to the alleged illegal removal of certain person as members of the Sascoc board.”

One of the people he is referring to is Alex Skhosana‚ the president of the Athletics SA‚ who was removed as a board member in a controversial vote.

He raised questions about the “alleged illegal attempts by Sascoc to manipulate the votes of these elections in order to oust certain members of the board”.

Sascoc is currently having its own internal problems. Its CEO Tubby Reddy was suspended by the board in July after allegations of sexual harassment were brought by a female employee.

Nxesi also wants this to be covered in the inquiry.

“Sascoc and its board allegedly mismanaging the labour and discipline issues insofar as the CEO is concerned.”

Sam welcomed the inquiry to be instituted by the minister.

“His inquiry is welcome. We will cooperate with the commission. The outcome of his inquiry will help us get on with what we do best‚ presenting Team SA at major games‚” Sam told TimesLIVE.

The minister also wants to get to the bottom of allegations that the board is “mismanaging financial matters”.

The Sascoc board is also accused of getting rid of certain key positions without any justification.

Nxesi wants the committee to also investigate whether the problems of governance make the board dysfunctional and “requires the minister of sport and recreation to intervene by‚ among others‚ dissolving the Sascoc board as a last resort”.

The committee is also investigating allegations that Sam contravened discrimination legislation and the constitution of Sascoc by openly stating to the board that an employee in the administration‚ Jean Kelly‚ could not be appointed as the chef de mission of Team South Africa as she is “white”.

Other allegations to be investigated include that Sam ignored concerns raised by the board and that certain individuals in Sascoc had failed to disclose conflicts of interest.

Nxesi wants the ministerial committee of inquiry to be made up of a retired judge as the chairperson‚ two additional members and a senior advocate as an evidence leader.