Sascoc's day at the races

Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
I noted with interest a story in the City Press last weekend under the headline: “Sascoc fat cats live large at the Durban July”.

How Sascoc can even start to justify a spend of close to R400 000 at the event is beyond me.

Sascoc president Gideon Sam was quoted as saying: “The July weekend expenses were justified as Sascoc was a shareholder in Phumelela, a horse-racing company.”

Sascoc does own 100% of Gride Investments (Pty) Ltd, which sole asset is 3 880 887 shares in Phumelela Gaming and Leisure.

The board members of Gride are not listed in the 2012 audited financials but Sam and Sascoc vice-president, Hajera Kajee, are listed as directors of the company.

Perhaps, we need to ask why Sascoc is investing in a gambling company and does it not contravene the Olympic Charter?

While glancing at the last Sascoc financials, I also noticed the following:

Government grants Sascoc:

R12 124 476 for the Sports Awards
R6 377 619 for the Sports Indaba
R7 075 000 for the IOC Session

Contrast this with R2 400 000 for long term athlete development, R3 840 000 for the Olympic Games and R2 400 000 for Paralympic Games.

So, is the main priority of Sascoc to promote and develop high performance sport and promote and protect the Olympic movement in SA?

I also received some correspondence that took place between ASA president, James Evans and Sunday Times reporter, David Isaacson, which read as follows: 

6/27/2013 4:22 PM: James Evans: Please comment on the allegations that sascoc promised you payments and free trips to publish stories favourable to them.
6/27/2013 4:24 PM: David: Of course - Times Media can't afford to send their journalists on trips.

Isaacson later referred to his comment as sarcasm.

Strange form of sarcasm for a serious matter.

When asked for comment, no reply from Isaacson, but he was quick to respond when asked who is paying for him to attend the current FINA World Championships in Barcelona: “TMG”. (Times Media Group)

TMG Group Sport editor, Simnikiwe Xabanisa, on above question: “With regards to Sascoc ever paying David or paying for him to do his job, that has never happened.”

But it still begs the question - do we have a free sports press in SA?

I have it on good authority that Sascoc even polygraphed some of their staff a couple months ago to try and find who was leaking information to me.

I should be honoured.

But Mr Reddy, it’s all in the public domain and the public are not stupid.

Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa (CSA) did some good spin doctoring after the appointment of new CEO, Haroon Lorgat. 

CSA president, Chris Nenzani quoted as saying: “The process may have taken longer than we originally anticipated but we are delighted both with the final outcome and the quality of the candidates. I am particularly pleased with the rigorous process that was followed to produce an outstanding candidate.”


Lorgat was set to be appointed five months ago until the Indian cricket board interfered in the process.

A five-man CSA delegation was then sent to India to try and mend fences.

I was told that after the first round of interviews conducted by the personnel agency, there was only a short list of one for the job of CEO - Lorgat. His name was submitted to the CSA board but it was rejected and the agency was told to look for other candidates.

Others were then asked to apply for the vacant position.

In other words, the board were more worried about CSA coffers and the bottom line from India’s tours than integrity.

But Lorgat has now been asked to apologise to India - for what?

Must he apologise for knowing that the IPL was prone to corruption and for insisting that the IPL use the ICC's corruption unit to monitor betting and fixing?

He should be lauded and India should be doing the apologising.

Email Graeme at:

Catch Graeme Joffe on SportsFire every Monday and Thursday at 17:30 on Radio Today, 1485am in JHB, National on DStv audio channel 869 and streaming worldwide on Follow Graeme Joffe on Twitter: @joffersmyboy

Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.
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