Warring parties declare truce

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Moss Mashishi, president of the South African Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), and chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on sport and recreation, Butana Komphela, have kissed and made up.

Both parties told journalists at a media briefing in Sandton, Johannesburg yesterday that they had reached a truce.

Mashishi, who initiated the talks with the outspoken Komphela, stressed in no uncertain terms that he was not coerced to do so.

Mashishi and Komphela have been engaged in an ugly public spat after Sascoc took a decision last weekend to boycott the committee's meeting until Komphela retracted racist statements that were attributed to him.

The decision was slammed by the portfolio committee and the ANC.

Sascoc took the decision after Komphela reportedly said that the Olympic body was "full of whites and Indians who don't understand transformation and lack vision".

Sascoc angered Komphela and the ANC MPs when they boycotted the committee's meeting on Tuesday. Instead, Mashishi wrote a letter in which he decried the statements attributed to Komphela as "racist, derogatory and utterly repugnant".

But yesterday Mashishi and Komphela said their differences had been put to rest.

Said Mashishi: "There was never pressure from anybody to force me to initiate the meeting with Komphela. I did this for us to find common ground.

"I hold parliament in high esteem and I will never undermine it."

Said Komphela: "The portfolio committee remains fundamentally concerned about transformation in sport. The statements attributed to me in the media that led to the dispute with Sascoc were made in the context of addressing transformation."