All eyes on retired Judge Zulman as SASCOC inquiry finally gets underway

11 February 2018 - 13:01 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi (R) alongside Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy (L) during the General Meeting media briefing at Olympic House on April 22, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi (R) alongside Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy (L) during the General Meeting media briefing at Olympic House on April 22, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

All eyes will be on retired Judge Ralph Zulman when the long-awaited inquiry into allegations of misconduct at Sascoc finally gets underway at the Ellis Park stadium auditorium in Johannesburg on Monday.

There has been a general antipathy towards committees and commissions of inquiry in South Africa due to the lack of substantive action after the inquiries were completed.

However‚ Sports and Recreation ministry advisory Mickey Modisane said the committee also has power to subpoena‚ meaning those who aren't willing to co-operate may face the might of the law.

Zulman said it bodes well for the inquiry that Sports Minister Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi felt strongly enough to take action.

“That'll depend largely on what is decided by the minister‚" Zulman said.

"If you have a court case and the judge finds you not guilty‚ then in your eyes‚ he's a very good judge. If he finds you guilty‚ then there are all kinds of complaints.

"It'll depend on what will take place and if you rightly say there's a whitewash‚ then people will rightly complain.

“I remember the Cilliers Commission into what happened in Soweto in 1996 took five years and the minister then said the matter was being continually investigated.

"It was a dud but I don't think the minister will let things go in that direction.

"He feels strongly about this.

"He wants the matter to be dealt with.”

The inquiry will also provide fired Sascoc chief executive officer Tubby Reddy with an opportunity to air his grievances of his dismissal.

Reddy was relieved of his duties last month after a disciplinary hearing chaired by Advocate Anton Myburgh.

Jean Kelly and Vinesh Maharaj were also fired from their positions but Zulman said Reddy's dismissal isn't going to be the main point of the inquiry.

“There's the possibility of getting two versions‚ with one of them being Sascoc officials saying why they did things to Reddy.

"Reddy may also give another version and we're going to have to weigh it up.

"I don't know where it is at the moment because we come into this matter ignorant and that's why we want to listen.

“We'll only know on Monday as to which federations have serious complaints against Sascoc.

"I don't know how many are going to pitch up but we've invited them all.

"Some of them have already sent in memorandums of what they want to say‚ what they don't like but most of them relate to the running of Sascoc's affairs.

"There are some that have complained that there's been corruption.

"Mr Reddy has been invited to appear and he will appear.”

Modisane also revealed that the ministerial committee of inquiry that will look into last year's FNB Stadium tragedy that claimed the lives of two spectators will begin on March 6.

It will be headed by Judge Ronnie Pillay and will be held at the Wembley Sports Centre in Turfontein.


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