'Who received R200 000 for fake Sascoc report?'

16 February 2018 - 16:23
By David Isaacson
South Africa's Chef de Mission, Patience Shikwambana, during the Team South Africa press conference at Copthorne Tara Hotel on July 27, 2012 in London, England.
Image: Roger Sedres / Gallo Images South Africa's Chef de Mission, Patience Shikwambana, during the Team South Africa press conference at Copthorne Tara Hotel on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

Cash-strapped SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) board members will not make the trip to the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.

The body’s acting CEO‚ Patience Shikwambana‚ told the ministerial committee of inquiry into governance issues at Sascoc this week that the decision was made after the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Due to our current finances‚ a decision was taken that no board members would go to Games‚” she said on Thursday.

In years gone by executive members — who number 14 at Sascoc — would spend at least one week at an Olympics‚ each receiving a $200 per diem‚ although in Rio they were given only $100 meal allowances‚ she said.

They were entitled to fly business class unless accompanied by their spouses‚ in which case they’d travel on economy.

“Is it reasonable that all 14 should be going to these events?” asked veteran cricket administrator Ali Bacher‚ one of the three members of the committee.

He also questioned whether the board and council had enough time to address all the matters at Sascoc‚ which comprises 76 sporting federations and nine provincial confederations.

Shikwambana said the board met four times a year‚ and the council twice a year for four hours at a time.

“I would suggest it’s a bit tight to get through all the matters of the Olympic movement‚” Bacher said.

Shikwambana said it was enough time.

Ezera Tshabangu‚ who heads up high performance at Sascoc‚ spoke about the challenges facing her team of seven.

She was asked by labour law expert Shamima Gaibie‚ who chaired Thursday’s proceedings with retired judge Ralph Zulman off ill‚ if Sascoc needed an overhaul‚ but Tshabangu said no‚ but said resources were in short supply.

“We need to decide as a country‚ are we about participation or are we about performance? Because if we’re about performance‚ you know at the United States Olympic Committee (they have) a staff component of 460 people and 50% of those is just high performance‚” Tshabangu replied.

Photographer Wessel Oosthuizen‚ who was contracted by Sascoc‚ said he was sidelined by former CEO Tubby Reddy‚ and missed two sporting events as a result.

Claiming breach of contract‚ Oosthuizen’s lawyer engaged Sascoc and he was paid R52 000 for the two events he had not covered.

Oosthuizen also questioned who had been paid R200 000 for a report into security breaches at Sascoc by SS Griffon‚ a company that didn’t appear to exist.

The report was allegedly authored in the former CEO’s office.

Yet the report cost R200 000‚ of which R25 000 was paid by Sascoc and the remaining R175 000 by Volleyball SA‚ as part repayment of an R800 000 loan by former Sascoc CFO Vinesh Maharaj.

Maharaj‚ Reddy and manager Jean Kelly were recently dismissed by Sascoc.

“The question I’d like to know ... where did this money go to?” wondered Oosthuizen.

“ It looks like there’s been no SS Griffon‚ so someone received R200 000 for a fake report.”