Sascoc president Gideon Sam said while they were happy to include some of the recommendations, there are instances where they would be at loggerheads. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
The threat of stepping on the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) toes looms large after the findings of the ministerial inquiry into Sascoc were released on Friday.

Sports minister Tokozile Xasa announced a host of recommendations the SA Olympic body must implement by the end of April 2019.

Sascoc president Gideon Sam yesterday said while they were happy to include some of the recommendations, there are instances where they would be at loggerheads with their constitution and that of the IOC and other international bodies.

“We responded to the recommendations very extensively on how we feel and the minister identified five areas where she did not concede to our counter recommendations and these areas are against our constitution,” Sam said after giving the opening address at Sascoc’s general meeting yesterday.

“The IOC, the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) and the CGF (Commonwealth Games Federation) have given us guidance to say that these are the areas that need to be put on the table for further discussions and you can’t unilaterally decide how this is and what you are going to do and we are at that point now.

“I pointed out to the minister that they need to be careful so that they do not fall into the same trap as Kenya where they are threatened by the IOC that they would be suspended and she is aware of that.”

The ministerial committee that was tasked to look into the affairs of Sascoc was scathing in their assessment of the umbrella body. The committee found there was an absence of compliance with appropriate governance and procurement processes and policies.

“A minuscule amount of time of the board is in fact spent on the statutory mandate given to Sascoc to promote and develop high-performance sport,” the report read.

“There is no compliance with the basic principles of ethics, transparency, accountability, good governance, or with policies and procedures for the purposes of managing the affairs of Sascoc, including its financial affairs.”

Among the recommendations was that the Sascoc president must be independent and without any affiliation, to any sport and recreation body while the person should be appointed by an independent committee.

Board members would also be limited to two four-year terms members while those that are appointed in consequence of their membership or affiliation with any sport and recreation body would have to relinquish their membership or affiliation when they are appointed.

In his opening remarks, Sam said the inquiry had forced the Olympic body into introspection and they needed to make amends.

“I saw a headline on the poles, ‘Heads to roll at Sascoc’, I hope it is not my head and I am looking at some of these guys (the board) and maybe their heads will roll,” Sam said. “All of this had a negative effect on Sascoc but we all agreed we need to better manage Sascoc. The time when we contradicted each other in public is over. Even if heads do roll, high performance will not be disregarded.”


Sunday Independent

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