Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Inquiry panel concerned with Sascoc ‘chaos’

The umbrella body has hardly been an example of good corporate governance the past few years.

After hearing testimony from another five witnesses on Monday, a bleak picture was being painted with regards to governance and administration at the highest levels of South African sport, according to the head of the Ministerial Committee of Inquiry into the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).

“I get the impression, and I hope I’m wrong, that there is complete chaos in the affairs of Sascoc,” said retired judge Ralph Zulman.

With a total of 18 individuals giving testimony under oath over the first three days of the six-week process, Zulman said the evidence they had heard did not bode well for senior Sascoc employees or board members, many of whom were due to appear at a later stage in the inquiry.

“That’s not my final conclusion, obviously, which is why we will be sitting here for more days to see what’s going on, but every witness who has spoken to us has testified to the lack of organisation in the organisation, starting at the top,” he said.

“It troubles me very much that senior administration seems to play a very inactive role.”

Muditambi Ravele, a former chairperson of Boxing South Africa and founder of the SA Women and Sport Foundation, fired multiple allegations at Sascoc bosses.

Disagreements between Sascoc management and the board had resulted in conflict and stalemates, according to Ravele, and she claimed that Sascoc deputy president Hajera Kajee had referred to the organisation’s executive as “dysfunctional” at a recent council meeting.

“I don’t think people are happy at the moment with Sascoc,” Ravele said.

Other witnesses who appeared before the inquiry on Monday included Mind Sport SA general secretary Colin Webster, whose previous allegations against Sascoc were investigated by the Public Protector before the government watchdog set the investigation aside due to resource constraints, and former Athletics SA president James Evans, who was ousted in 2014 following lengthy public battles with fellow board members and Sascoc.

The inquiry was set to continue on Wednesday.

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