Allegations of sexual harassment laid against SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) chief executive Tubby Reddy took a bizarre turn on Monday, after the staff member who made the claims said her email account had been hacked.
In a mail issued to the media Monday morning from the Sascoc address of one of the organisation’s department managers, it was alleged that the claims of harassment had formed part of an orchestrated move by the Olympic body’s president, Gideon Sam, to oust Reddy.
“I hereby apologise for all allegations made against Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy, and defamation to his character,” read the mail, which was revealed to be forged.
It also implicated Sascoc board member Kobus Marais, and referred to Reddy as a “very humble man” who “gives everything to sport”, while accusing board members of an attempted smear campaign.
However, in an email sent from the same account eight minutes later, the staff member claimed she had not sent the previous correspondence.
“Someone has hacked my computer,” the mail read.
In a phone call, the staffer later confirmed she had sent the second mail.
After meeting Monday to discuss the harassment claim, among other matters, the Sascoc board opted to divert the issue to an independent panel, which would report back to the executive committee with recommendations.
“The board has resolved to protect both individuals. They will appear before an independent panel, so both will be heard, and they’ll be able to bring their lawyers,” Sam said.
He would not comment further on the matter, and Reddy was unavailable.
Sam and Reddy had long believed to be involved in dispute, causing an apparent split in the nation’s Olympic body, which was mandated to deliver teams to all major multi-sport Games.