Thulas Nxesi, South African minister of sports and recreation, speaks at a PSL event. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - The committees of inquiry – set by the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Thulas Nxesi – to look into the FNB Stadium stampede and allegations of irregularities and non-compliance at the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) are in full swing.

Retired Judge Ralph Zulman will handle the Sascoc matter while retired Judge Ronny Pillay will chair the inquiry on the stampede at FNB Stadium that resulted in the death of two people during the 2017 edition of the Carling Black Label Cup between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

“Both inquiries are now up and running,” Nxesi said. “They have invited submissions from all relevant stakeholders and will shortly be holding public hearings. These are independent inquiries and the minister and department of Sport and Recreation may not interfere in their proceedings. 

"As minister, however, I can urge all interested parties to fully cooperate with the investigations. I have no doubt that those with a genuine concern for clean sports administration and the safety of fans at sporting events will do so.”

Nxesi continued, “I am also using this opportunity to clarify matters in regard to the Sascoc inquiry. The much-publicised dispute between the CEO (Tubby Reddy) and the Sascoc board is an HR operational issue which will be addressed in terms of Sascoc’s HR policy and labour legislation – and here the minister has no business interfering. The allegations of maladministration and failure to comply with the Sascoc constitution are issues of governance – where the minister has a mandate of oversight. Hence the establishment of the inquiry.

“By way of analogy, most sports commentators and enthusiasts would agree that, despite initial resistance, the independent and transparent Nicholson inquiry into irregularities in cricket was able to identify problems and recommend solutions, in the process rescuing and strengthening the image of cricket. 

"The current inquiries provide such an opportunity for Sascoc, whilst the imperative to independently investigate the FNB Stadium stampede in order to enhance the safety of fans goes without saying. I urge all relevant interested parties to fully cooperate with the inquiries, as many have already done so in the form of submissions received by the committees.”

IOL Sport

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