Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
17 Feb 2018
6:00 am

Sam in the hot seat at inquiry

Wesley Botton

After the inquiry committee heard on Monday that Sam was allegedly a director of sports marketing agency Accelerate Sport.

Gideon Sam, President of the SA Sports Confrederation.

With the first week out of the way, a number of long-running issues were addressed by the ministerial inquiry into the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), but it is the umbrella body’s president, Gideon Sam, who was put in the firing line.

After the inquiry committee heard on Monday that Sam was allegedly a director of sports marketing agency Accelerate Sport, lawyer David Becker unpacked a long-running issue with the SA Fitness Sport Aerobic Federation (Sasaff).

The complainants in the matter, represented by Becker, submitted multiple concerns regarding the administration of Sascoc and the actions of Sam, who had allegedly “protected his friend”, Sasaff president Keith Barends, by sweeping an inquiry report under the carpet.

Their complaints included the alleged failure to implement or seriously consider the Pullinger report, which had found that minors in the sport had been victimised.

The report had apparently required considerable resources to complete – including more than R100 000 in legal fees – but was pushed aside by Sascoc in 2013, with the matter first being referred to the sports ministry and later to the Sascoc dispute resolution committee.

Becker, however, was told by dispute resolution committee chairperson Mubarak Mahomed that they had received no documents on the matter and the Sascoc board had resolved that Sam would deal with it.

The case was subsequently closed without further explanation.

Following a legal dispute, Sascoc had agreed to reconvene the independent inquiry, which was completed in February 2015.

“At best for Mr Sam, his conduct was highly improper, grossly irregular and negligent,” the complainants wrote in their submission to the inquiry. “At worst, it was blatant misuse of a [public] administrative position and amounts to serious misconduct.”

No end to Sascoc saga

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