Durban - More than R6.2 million that should have been spent on sports development was wasted by the SA Sports Confederation Olympic Committee (Sascoc) on legal fees for a farcical disciplinary inquiry and associated investigations, says axed chief executive Tubby Reddy.
Reddy and two senior Sascoc managers were dismissed this week following the outcome of a disciplinary hearing that found them guilty on various misconduct and maladministration charges.
The inquiry was chaired by Anton Myburgh, an independent senior advocate and member of the Johannesburg Bar.
Among other things, Reddy was accused of underhand dealings with an agent of a Chinese sportswear brand, including alleged collusion to inflate prices of kit for South Africa’s athletics team, and the creation of fictitious consultancy projects.
Myburgh also found that Reddy had a close relationship with David Naidoo, the managing director of M&M Hiring Marquee CC which entered into a service level agreement (SLA) with Sascoc.
The advocate said evidence indicated Reddy had approved the contract without securing three quotations.
The records also show that Naidoo’s company was paid R9m in two separate tranches, on May 2, 2014, and July 21, 2014, whereas the agreement showed M&M should have received only R5.94m.
The disciplinary hearing also found Reddy guilty of sexual harassment. It is alleged he had an improper liaison with a fellow employee between 2009 and 2013.
This allegedly included requests for a massage on more than four occasions and sending her an “erotic calendar” in an e-mail asking her to identify her “birthday position”.
At the end of his findings, Myburgh recommended the summary dismissal of Reddy as well as Sascoc’s chief financial officer, Vinesh Maharaj, and another senior manager, Jean Kelly, for her role in co-authoring a report which contained “false and spurious allegations against members of the Sascoc board”.
Myburgh was referring to the so-called SS Griffin report which contained sensational claims of “covert” bugging of Sascoc offices. The report, released at the same time that sexual harassment charges were brought against Reddy last year, said the surveillance devices were mainly in executive offices occupied by Reddy and his staff.
The Sascoc board, comprising 14 members, was this week divided in accepting Myburgh’s findings, with only seven members supporting the resolution to axe Reddy, Maharaj and Kelly.
The trio have hit back with a slew of counter-allegations against the Sascoc board that recently led to the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Thulas Nxesi, setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate alleged irregularities at Sascoc.
Reddy has also since lodged an appeal against the federation’s decision to dismiss him and sent an open letter to Sascoc’s membership rebutting the findings of the disciplinary inquiry, including sexual harassment charges.
He said it was strange that Vardhan had lodged a complaint of sexual harassment only last year, more than four years after the alleged incident took place.
“The sexual harassment is a total fabrication and vindictiveness on her part after her husband Size was stopped by me from earning money from Sascoc in a clandestine manner,” said Reddy.
Reddy said the woman had convinced a senior representative of the KwaZulu-Natal Sports Department to inject substantial funding into coaching clinics facilitated by her husband.
“One example is a course run at the Durban University of Technology to the tune of R1.7m where he was the chief facilitator,” said Reddy.
Reddy released a series of SMSes from her indicating they had enjoyed a close friendship.
This included sending Reddy happy birthday wishes and a happy Valentine’s Day message last year, as well as thanking him for having invited “us 2 ur beautiful and warm home 4 a wonderful braai & g8 entertainment”.
The SMS, sent in May 2016, continues: “Thoroughly enjoyed the evening and your beautiful childen were beautiful hosts.”