Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa hands Sascoc deadline to make changes

07 December 2018 - 13:59
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Minister of Sport and Recreation Tokozile Xasa.
Image: Mahlatse Mphahlele Minister of Sport and Recreation Tokozile Xasa.

Minister of Sport Tokozile Xasa has ordered the current Sascoc board until the end of April next year to implement the wide-ranging recommendations contained in the report on a ministerial inquiry into the organisation’s affairs.

Releasing the eagerly-anticipated report in Pretoria on Friday morning in the presence of Sascoc president Gideon Sam‚ Xasa also ordered leaders of the organisation to provide her with monthly reports on their progress.

“The essence of putting together this inquiry was to make sure that we have proper governance. We deal with issues of malpractices‚ irregularities and divisions that were there‚” Xasa said.

“They knew they were wrong and corrected some of these things. You are dealing with people who are using the arm of the Constitution to correct wrongs because they knew they were wrong.”

Xasa strongly dismissed suggestions that the report was a slap on the wrist for Sascoc’s leadership.

“We didn’t go the forensic report way because we want sport to continue and we want Sascoc to take responsibly‚” the minister said.

“As far as we are concerned we are not running away from forensic investigation – it could have assisted if we did not know what was happening.”

The report has was released a day before Sascoc are due to hold their general meeting in Johannesburg on Saturday and Xasa said their timing was coincidental but impeccable.

“At times timing can just be coincidental but we are happy that we are releasing the report now‚” she said.

“From tomorrow we want to hear what they will be doing about the report because they are going to table it before their meeting.

“For us‚ timing is so perfect because already by the end of the year we will hear from them as they are going to reflect on this in their meeting. Come mid-January‚ I will have someone who will be overseeing implementation.

“They would have had time to reflect and come January we want to see the implementation plan. I will have to see the plan monthly.”

Xasa warned Sascoc to tackle the execution‚ implementation and fulfilment of the recommendations of the committee or face consequences.

“Should I‚ however‚ not be totally satisfied with the execution‚ implementation and fulfilling of the recommendations of the committee by Sascoc with regard to timelines‚ I hereby reserve my right to issue a directive in terms of section 13 (5) (a) of the National Sport and Recreation Act‚ 1998 (Act No. 110 of 1998 as amended).

“In terms of this I will action and implement the necessary intervention measures as provided for in the Act in the best interests of sport and the public as a whole in this country.”

Some of the recommendations of the report state that the National Sport and Recreation Act of 1998 (Act No. 110 of 1998 as amended) must be amended to offer clarity on the oversight roles of the department and Sascoc.

The report also recommended that positions of the president‚ accountant and commercial lawyer must be occupied by persons who are independent and who have no affiliation to any sport and recreation body.

With regards to the management structure‚ the report has recommended that it should consist of a chief executive officer (CEO)‚ chief financial officer (CFO)‚ and chief operations officer (COO) and a director of communications.

“I have perused and scrutinised the contents and viewpoints expressed by way of representations received from all roleplayers in relation to the report and executive summary of the Sascoc Committee of Inquiry thoroughly and weighed it against the recommendations of the committee cautiously‚” Xasa said.

“These roleplayers are Sascoc‚ Tubby Reddy‚ the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).”

“It is apparent that while Sascoc agree with some of the committee’s recommendations‚ they do not agree with other substantive recommendations that are in the committee’s view fundamental to the governance of sport in the Republic of South Africa.

“In essence‚ it is apparent from Sascoc’s response to the committee’s recommendations that Sascoc is opposed to any external or independent oversight of their roles‚ functions‚ and the use of public monies.”