Skhosana attempts to sweep tainted Sascoc clean

Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images
Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

“It’s not an easy task but not difficult at the same time. This is because it’s not about me but trying to sort out the problems that have been there”.

This is how Aleck Skhosana reflected over the few weeks he has been in charge of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) since he was installed as the interim president on April 15.

Skhosana is adamant that “there’s progress that has been made”.

“We came in when there is a dispute and the postponement of the Olympic Games put ice on other programmes. But there is progress that has been made,” Skhosana told City Press.

He backed his statement with the notice that has been issued to the Sascoc membership, calling for a special general meeting (SGM) that will seek to address, among other pressing issues, a new date for the quadrennial meeting that will elect a new leadership.

He said a date was yet to be confirmed but there were efforts to hold a virtual meeting due to lockdown restrictions.

“Since the adoption of the amended constitution in January, the IOC [International Olympic Committee] has also come back to us with a few items that they want us to further incorporate.

This includes some of the recommendations of the ministerial inquiry. So we’ll take this back to the general assembly at the SGM,” explained Skhosana.

A dark cloud has been hanging over Sascoc for the past few weeks, owing to the tensions that overshadowed the build-up to the elections – initially set for March 28 – that have since been put on hold due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The national sports umbrella body was a subject of criticism during a joint sitting of Parliament’s sports portfolio committee on Wednesday, particularly on Sascoc having not yet held its quadrennial meeting to elect a new leadership.

The committee has also given Sascoc seven days to show its audited financial statements.

Sascoc has been without a permanent leader since Gideon Sam stepped down in December as he had reached 70, which is a cut-off age to occupy a seat on the Sascoc board.

Skhosana said Sascoc was considering holding a virtual meeting to elect the new leadership but the IOC discouraged this idea, while he also brought to light the controversies that played out during the nominations process.

“They [IOC] suggested that a physical meeting is the better option. Also, people must see the ballot so that there are no disputes,” said the Athletics SA president, who ironically, was among the four who were disqualified in the race for presidency only to be cleared by the arbitrator to contest again.

Skhosana said given the huge number of the Sascoc membership, they could only monitor the conditions around Covid-19 and wait for the government to give the green light for the elective conference.

As things stand, Sascoc has been without a permanent leader since Gideon Sam stepped down in December as he had reached 70, which is a cut-off age to occupy a seat on the Sascoc board.

Skhosana took over from Barry Hendricks who was placed on provisional suspension by the board last month pending an investigation after an independent legal opinion found him to have interfered in the nomination of Tennis SA board member Muditambi “Ntambi” Ravele.

According to Sascoc, issues around the appointment of a new chief executive and a chief financial officer were also high on their immediate plans to conform to sound corporate governance principles.

These are some of the recommendations by the ministerial inquiry, which investigated allegations of maladministration and financial irregularities at Sascoc two years ago.

Daniel Mothowagae
Deputy sports editor
City Press
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