Safa and Sascoc coupled at the tote with gravy train administrators

2012-12-20 00:00

SASCOC elections fixed, Bafana Bafana friendlies fixed … What’s next for SA sport? And not a peep from either the Sports Minister or Sascoc.

Maybe it’s just the norm; business as usual.

Match-fixing allegations against Safa president Kirsten Nematandani and four other Safa employees, plunging the sport into chaos, but should we be surprised?

Just last month Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula told the national assembly that Safa “remains a going concern”. But with an operating loss of R56 million, despite their lucrative TV and sponsorship deals, “a going concern” is an overstatement.

Safa and Sascoc are coupled at the tote with gravy train administrators who use public money like it’s their own bank accounts.

You have to ask why the Sports Minister has not called for a forensic audit of both bodies.

Mbalula is not scared to spend public money, just like the R35 million on one night for the SA sports awards.

One hand washes the other. It has become a cancer in SA sport and no one seems prepared to do anything about it.

Had any sports federation other than Safa been linked to match fixing, Sascoc would have gone in with guns blazing. They would have suspended the federation and put one of their cronies in charge. But Safa wouldn’t be as easy to bully.

As of November 5, 2012, no fewer than four sporting bodies were not in good standing with Sascoc — basketball, boxing, powerboating and softball — and for far lesser crimes than allegations of match fixing.

But when it comes to Safa, not a word.

Sascoc’s brazen manipulation of their elections and sense of unassailability is megalomaniacal. Nematandani got nine votes in the Sascoc election for the position of vice-president. Was he nominated by Football4U, I wonder.

Nematandani was quoted in the City Press before learning of his suspension: “Having co-operated with Fifa during their investigation, we are happy that this matter is coming to its conclusion, and our commitment to zero tolerance to corruption is well documented.

“Safa remain totally committed to working with Fifa to wipe out the scourge of corruption that is impacting on football globally.”

Was this a bluff or did he really not see a suspension coming?

Even more laughable was the Safa press conference afterwards, when they said it was for “good governance” that the suspensions were implemented and they would appoint a commission of inquiry under the leadership of a retired judge to investigate the match-fixing scandal further.

Give me a break.

Good governance with Safa and Sascoc is an oxymoron. Does an operating loss of R56 million sound like good governance?

What is needed is a quick independent inquiry, a forensic audit of Safa and the book thrown at the perpetrators. Fifa have already done the hard yards and fingered the individuals involved.

What we don’t need is another drawn-out inquiry like the one at Cricket South Africa CSA, using taxpayers’ money.

It has been a bonus year for some SA sports administrators, but at least we can guess the score of Bafana Bafana’s friendly against Norway on January 8, 2013. It will likely be 3-1 to Bafana with two penalties in the second half.

If South Africa had a diligent sports minister and a clean Sascoc, we wouldn’t have half the problems we have in our sport today.

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