Sascoc inquiry set to drag on, report will take time

FILE PICTURE: Ali Bacher during the Discovery Sport Industry Awards 2014 from Sandton Convention Centre on February 13, 2014 in Johannesburg. Picture: Gallo Images

The panel heard allegations of exorbitant spending by Sascoc executives, as well as maladministration and mismanagement by senior staff.

While the report on an inquiry into the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) is expected to be released by the end of the month, the process remains ongoing and government will need to discuss the findings with stakeholders before they are released to the public.

The inquiry into governance issues at Sascoc, which was conducted by an independent panel headed by retired Judge Ralph Zulman, was completed in March but the results of the investigation had not yet been released by Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa.

Former sports minister Thulas Nxesi, who launched the probe, had previously threatened to dissolve the Sascoc board based on the findings, and this potential move could place the country in danger of being suspended by global governing body the International Olympic Committee due to government interference.

“The minister is expected to release something at the end of the month,” Mickey Modisane, director of communications at the department of sport and recreation, said yesterday.

“Once she has gone through the report she’ll have to meet with stakeholders first, and that will pave the way forward.”

Various sports administrators, officials and federation representatives gave submissions to the inquiry panel.

The panel, which also included labour lawyer Shamima Gaibie and former sports administrator Ali Bacher, heard allegations of exorbitant spending by Sascoc executives, as well as allegations of maladministration and mismanagement by senior Sascoc staff, with multiple individuals painting the organisation as a failing umbrella body.

While a previous investigation launched by former public protector Thuli Madonsela in 2012 was never completed, apparently due to resource constraints, it was hoped the Zulman inquiry would be able to address long-running allegations into Sascoc affairs.

“We want to get all sides of the story – the plaintiff, the defendant and the truth,” Zulman said during the inquiry.

“We’re mainly concerned with the truth.”

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