South Africa Sport 6.3.2018 07:11 pm

Sascoc ‘mafia’ have too many fingers in too many pies

Gideon Sam. Picture: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

Gideon Sam. Picture: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

All the big fish such as Gideon Sam, Tubby Reddy and Vinesh Maharaj flouted corporate governance protocol by retaining other positions.

Board members and senior employees at the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) were pummelled by accusations on Tuesday that they had pursued conflicting interests, with current and former administrators insisting the umbrella body’s bosses had their fingers in too many pies.

Former Athletics SA (ASA) general manager Molatelo Malehopo and Volleyball SA (VSA) board member Size Vardhan, both of whom had been either fired or suspended from their posts, told the ministerial inquiry into Sascoc that individuals who held multiple posts were taking control of South African sport.

According to Malehopo, Sascoc president Gideon Sam, former CEO Tubby Reddy and former CFO Vinesh Maharaj had all acted in violation of good corporate governance by retaining positions at member federations while serving at Sascoc.

Sam was also alleged to have held a conflicting role by serving on the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund for Sport, an allegation which had been directed at various other members of the Sascoc executive in recent years.

In his submission to the inquiry, Malehopo claimed that Sascoc had taken a mafia-style approach by trying to place favourable administrators in key positions at ASA, and that certain individuals had been shielded from allegations of financial mismanagement, including the athletics body’s president Aleck Skhosana and vice-president Harold Adams.

“In Sascoc it depends if you are close to power or not close to power,” Malehopo said.

“If you are close to power you will be protected, and if you are not close to power you will be dealt with severely.”

Meanwhile, Vardhan claimed the VSA constitution had been changed in order to allow Reddy to serve an extended term as the federation’s president while he was the CEO of Sascoc.

Reddy was now an honorary VSA life president.

The ministerial inquiry was scheduled to continue on Thursday, with recently sacked employees Reddy, Maharaj and Jean Kelly all scheduled to testify under oath.

Sam and other board members were expected to appear before the committee next week.

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