'Some Sascoc board members failed in their duties'

Gideon Sam of Sascoc during the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee's (SASCOC) Annual General Meeting at Olympic House on February 10, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. After the meeting, Gideon Sam, Sascoc president handed more than 400 pages in at the Rosebank Police Station in the body's complaint against the three senior employees who were fired last month. Tubby Reddy, CEO, Vinesh Maharaj, CFO and Jean Kelly, executive manager were dismissed after a lengthy investigation. The case was then transferred to the Norwood Police Station.
Gideon Sam of Sascoc during the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee's (SASCOC) Annual General Meeting at Olympic House on February 10, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. After the meeting, Gideon Sam, Sascoc president handed more than 400 pages in at the Rosebank Police Station in the body's complaint against the three senior employees who were fired last month. Tubby Reddy, CEO, Vinesh Maharaj, CFO and Jean Kelly, executive manager were dismissed after a lengthy investigation. The case was then transferred to the Norwood Police Station.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

A veteran sports administrator on Monday said some SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) board members had failed in their duties by their poor handling of the disciplinary action against three employees.

CEO Tubby Reddy‚ CFO Vinesh Maharaj and manager Jean Kelly were fired for various offences after an independent inquiry found them guilty and recommended their dismissal.

But several of the board members didn’t support this recommendation‚ Ntambi Ravele told the committee of inquiry into Sascoc governance issues in Johannesburg on Monday.

Ravele‚ former head of netball and professional boxing who is now involved in wheelchair tennis‚ said the sports federations had received a letter from Sascoc president Gideon Sam showing how the 14-person board had voted on the recommendation for dismissal.

“It shows the [two] IOC members didn’t react on the resolution‚ and two members didn’t support the resolution [they voted against dismissal] and three members abstained‚" she said.

“I’m concerned that some of the board members failed to perform their fiduciary duties by failing to support a resolution [after commissioning] a formal investigation by an independent and reputable law firm.”

Among the charges were sexual harassment claims against Reddy.

“And a chairperson of the commission on women within the board decided to abstain from supporting disciplinary action‚” said Ravele‚ referring to Sascoc deputy president Hajera Kajee‚ who abstained‚ according to Sam’s letter.

Ravele also said at Sascoc’s last council meeting in February that Kajee had called the board dysfunctional.

“During the Sascoc council meeting when I asked a question … the deputy president of Sascoc responded that the board is dysfunctional.”

Ravele said she had realised there were problems at Sascoc ahead of the 2016 elections when there was a rift between senior management and board members over the interpretation of the Sascoc constitution in terms of eligibility of candidates.

She also mentioned how some federations were too scared to speak up at Sascoc council meetings.

“I have seen in Sascoc meetings‚ with very few members participating during meetings‚ during breaks and after the meetings some of the federations would approach you in support of what you raised during the meeting‚ and when you ask them why they are not vocal during the meetings they will tell you they are afraid to be victimized.”

Labour law expert Shamima Gaibie‚ one of the three panelists on the committee‚ asked Ravele if she could name the federations and she said she would do so in writing.

Retired Judge Ralph Zulman questioned her on the apparent chaotic state of Sascoc.

“I get the impression — I hope I’m wrong — that there’s complete chaos in the affairs of Sascoc‚ or am I overstating it?” he asked.

“It depends where you get what information‚” replied Ravele.

“But I think there are people who would say it’s chaos‚ there are people who would say there are areas that need to be revisited.”

Zulman responded: “What I’ve said is not my final conclusion‚ obviously‚ that’s why we’re sitting here.”

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