Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
20 Aug 2020
3:47 pm

South African sport is ‘riddled with problems’ – Nathi Mthethwa

Wesley Botton

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa believes it is crucial to find a way to resolve internal battles in SA sport without putting the country at risk of being suspended internationally.

Minister of sport, arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: Gallo Images

South African sport needs a dispute resolution body to address ongoing issues affecting the industry, including allegations of corruption, according to sports minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Aside from multiple battles which had been waged among its members in recent years, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committe (Sascoc) had been locked in ongoing internal conflict in the build-up to this year’s postponed elections for vacant senior board posts.

In response, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently appointed veteran administrator Sam Ramsamy to oversee the organisation’s election process.

Other concerns which had affected various codes in recent years included maladministration, poor governance and a general failure to address transformation, which had caused various levels of conflict.

Most recently, Cricket South Africa had been criticised for failing to resolve multiple problems, with its leadership crumbling this week after acting CEO Jacques Faul and president Chris Nenzani resigned with immediate effect.

“Sport is riddled with a lot of problems,” Mthethwa told Sport Business Forum founder Sgwili Gumede in a webinar yesterday.

“Part of what we’re piloting (in line with the 2030 National Sport and Recreation Plan) is a permanent committee of inquiry.

“We need a body which is able to deal with any problems, even in the confederation (Sascoc).”

While international governing bodies did not allow for government interference in sport, Mthethwa felt it was important to find a balance without putting the country at risk of being suspended
internationally.

An independent committee would provide a platform to address conflict in sport without direct government involvement.

“This is quite important because there have been a lot of allegations from federations, not just with regards to corporate governance, but also other issues which border on corruption,” Mthethwa said.

“We have continuous issues like that and we have to find a way of addressing this problem.”

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