Sascoc remains defiant

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) declined to accept an "invitation" to attend a National Assembly sport committee meeting yesterday to explain its decision to boycott the committee's meetings.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) declined to accept an "invitation" to attend a National Assembly sport committee meeting yesterday to explain its decision to boycott the committee's meetings.

Instead, a letter from Moss Mashishi, Sascoc's president, was read out at the meeting after which the committee decided to refer the letter to parliament's legal department for advice.

It also emerged from the letter that Sascoc would lodge a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission about remarks committee chairman Butana Komphela made about Sascoc.

Komphela reportedly said Sascoc was "full of whites and Indians who don't understand transformation and lack vision".

In the letter, addressed to Komphela, Mashishi reaffirmed Sascoc's decision to boycott the committee's meetings until Komphela was replaced. Mashishi wrote that the statements attributed to Komphela were "racist, derogatory and utterly repugnant".

"They reflect an attitude that constitutes an affront to Sascoc and its members."

Mashishi asked Komphela to unreservedly retract the comments attributed to him or to publicly distance himself from them.

ANC MPs in the committee took great exception to the letter, saying Sascoc was undermining Parliament.

Lanval Reid said it was no secret that Sascoc's committee "consists primarily of whites and Indians, and there's no denial for that".

Komphela denied that his remarks had been racist. - Sapa

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