Sascoc, Parliament on a war course

2011-02-26 16:15

The South African Sports ­Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) is on a ­collision course with Parliament.

In a twist of events regarding the fate of suspended Athletics South Africa (ASA) president Leonard Chuene, Parliament has ordered the portfolio committee on sports to initiate an ­investigation into a number of activities within Sascoc.

This was after certain athletes and organisations submitted a petition to Parliament seeking the reinstatement of suspended Sascoc board members and ASA employees.

The chairperson of the committee, Butana Komphela, said they had received a directive from the Speaker of Parliament to initiate an investigation into a number of activities in Sascoc and to make recommendations.

Last week Sascoc sacked Chuene, former ASA vice-president Kakata Maponyane and former director Simon Dlamini after they were found guilty of poor corporate governance, misappropriation of funds, tax evasion and bringing the sport of athletics into disrepute.

Komphela – who had not been briefed last week about Sascoc’s decision – said, however, that his committee would disregard the Olympics body’s investigation and go ahead with its own.

“It is their investigation and the ban has nothing to do with Parliament. Our views will be ours and if we feel the ban is unjust we will proclaim such.

“We will call everyone – ­including Sascoc, which has been refusing to come to Parliament, saying that the matter is sub judice,” Komphela said.

Any citizen of South Africa had the right to send a petition to Parliament if they felt they had been prejudiced.

“The Speaker of Parliament wrote to us saying he had received unsolicited submissions from concerned athletes in which they request Parliament in essence to initiate an investigation into a number of activities in Sascoc, and asked us to deal with the matter (in a way) that we deem appropriate.”

He had reason to believe Chuene’s suspension was a ­well-orchestrated move.

“We are sitting with affidavits from certain people who are saying they have information on the discussions that took place in KZN to get rid of Chuene and tarnish him as he was seen to be a problem in sport. This clearly shows there is a link to a witchhunt and it is not just an ordinary matter.”

He said on completion of the investigation the portfolio committee would report to the full sitting of Parliament on its findings and recommendations.

He said Parliament would make the ultimate ruling on the matter and its decision superseded any other.

“If the House of Parliament is convinced the matter has been handled properly, it will endorse it, and if it feels there was prejudice and problems it will change the decision.”

Sascoc chief executive ­Tubby Reddy said he had heard the rumours, but nothing official had been communicated to his organisation.

“We hear rumours all the time. We have nothing official, but if we are called or they want to look into the matter they are welcome to do so,” said Reddy.

He said that ASA was at liberty to hold elections to ­replace the trio.

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