Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Sascoc digs in its heels

The embattled umbrella body says it takes note of changes demanded by government, but seem reluctant to implement them.

While the embattled organisation will proceed with some of the changes required by sports minister Tokozile Xasa, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) says it is reluctant to make required constitutional and policy adjustments enforced by government.

“We have heard the minister talking about the (Zulman Inquiry) report and its recommendations, and that implementation is non-negotiable,” Sascoc said in a statement following its special general meeting in Joburg on Saturday.

“To that we say, we cannot resolve matters without talking. These are matters of policy and right of association.”

The Sascoc council said it would institute a forensic audit going back five years, as well as an internal process to rectify non-compliance of corporate governance principles.

The Olympic body had concerns, however, with some of the recommendations made by the Zulman Inquiry last year, which were approved by Xasa in December.

“In dealing with policy and constitutional related recommendations of the report, such as election of the president, amendment of the constitution, etc,  we have taken note of the advice of the international bodies (IOC and IPC) and the statutes of other international federations, such as FIFA, IRB, etc, to which the members of Sascoc belong,” Sascoc said.

“We note that there is disagreement with the minister on these policy and constitutional matters. In order to move forward we must have a constructive dialogue with the ministry on how we can implement the areas of agreement, clarify areas of disagreement and find solutions.”

Xasa had previously warned that heads could roll if Sascoc did not reach a five-month deadline to get its house in order.

According to the Zulman Inquiry report, the Sascoc board was failing with regards to corporate governance and board members were guilty of frivolous spending, while disputes had rendered the executive committee dysfunctional.

Amendments to the Sascoc constitution were required before the end of April, with Xasa insisting that board members be limited to two four-year terms.

Future nominations for the position of Sascoc president would also need to be put forward by an independent committee, and individuals elected to the board would need to cut ties with member federations in an effort to resolve alleged conflicts of interest.

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