Sascoc boss clears the air on allegations

2012-02-18 19:25

Gloves came off and an all-out war ensued this week between the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and one of its affiliates, the South African Football Association (Safa).

Incidentally, this happened just after Sascoc president Gideon Sam had told journalists “there is no blood on Sascoc’s floor”. But soon after that, a battle royal ensued between Sascoc and Safa.

At the centre of the fight is a letter written to Safa, inviting the association to a meeting where they must clarify a number of issues including their plans on hosting next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals and how the 2010 World Cup Legacy funds are to be spent.

Sam also confirmed meeting Premier Soccer League chairperson Irvin Khoza last week Monday following reports that the latter had been approached by some senior sport administrators to run for the Sascoc presidency at their elective congress in November.

He said: “The meeting happened at Fli-Afrika (in Houghton, Johannesburg) and he was very open with me. He asked me not be distracted by sideshows but to concentrate on the Olympics goal.”

Sam said Khoza assured him that he was “100% behind” him in his vision to get 12 medals at the London Olympic Games.

“We parted on a friendly note.”

He also addressed allegations of a conflict of interest that have been levelled against him over his positions at Sascoc and also chairing the lottery’s sports and recreation disbursement agency as well as sports marketing company, Accelerate Sport SA.

“There is no conflict here. We started the company (Accelerate Sport SA) in 2004 with former rugby administrators Rian Oberholzer, Gary Grant and Songezo Nayo. I am a non-executive chairman,” he said.

Sam said his election to the Sascoc presidency and the National Lotteries Board agency, where his term ended last month, came way after Accelerate Sport SA was established.

“I have declared to both organisations that I am a businessman. The Sascoc presidency is not a fulltime but a voluntary job,” he said.

“I am very clear and sensitive on issues of conflict of interest.

“In all meetings I chair, the second item on the agenda is always declaration of interest. Members must always declare their interests after studying the agenda.”

City Press’s sister publication, Beeld, reported recently that Accelerate Sport SA had threatened to liquidate Athletics South Africa (ASA) – a Sascoc affiliate – if they failed to pay R7 million which they owed after the company sourced sponsorship for them.

Recently, Cycling South Africa alleged that the company had received commission on its R26 million Lotto grant in May.

There were also allegations that Sam had asked for a “cut” after raising funds for Boating South Africa. However, these allegations

were found to be baseless and were dismissed by the Sascoc ethics committee.

While Oberholzer insisted that Athletics South Africa owed them millions of rands, ASA president James Evans told City Press that: “As far as we are concerned, we don’t owe them money and if any, it’s a small amount as our TV broadcast deal which Accelerate also brokered, ends only in March (next month).

“We paid them about R600 000 last year.”

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