Sascoc warns members not to support suspended acting president Barry Hendricks

Sascoc acting president Barry Hendricks has been relieved of his duties and put on special leave.
Sascoc acting president Barry Hendricks has been relieved of his duties and put on special leave.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) board has instructed its members not to support suspended acting president Barry Hendricks.

The board placed Hendricks on what it calls a leave of absence pending the outcome of two separate investigations — one an arbitration process and the other a probe by Sascoc’s own Judicial Body.

Hendricks was found to have acted in an unethical manner in a legal opinion by an advocate when making comments to Tennis South Africa (TSA) president Gavin Crookes about TSA board members Ntambi Ravele and Riad Davids in February.

The Sascoc board was reacting to Hendricks’ latest email to Sascoc members — the federations and bodies which make up the umbrella body — in which he rejected his suspension and accused the board and acting CEO Ravi Govender of lying to the Sascoc membership over elements of the process.

Hendricks referred to various statements the board had made and in detail explained why he believed each was dishonest.

Hendricks had a few days earlier also claimed the board was not properly constituted and said it should be dissolved.

The board‚ in a statement on Saturday night‚ denied his claims out of hand without going into details.

“The board is fully satisfied that it has acted legally‚ responsibly and reasonably and has not been swayed by emotion‚ outside influence or ulterior motives in taking the decision to relieve the acting president of his duties until the investigation is finalised.

“The continuing attack by Mr Hendricks on the current board is both unprecedented and unwarranted as this is the same board he was quite happy to lead until his leave of absence.”

The board said it would not recognise Hendricks as the acting president‚ at least until the investigations were completed.

The board‚ which now recognises Aleck Skhosana as the new acting president‚ also warned Sascoc members not to support Hendricks.

“The board and members of Sascoc are not to communicate‚ support or assist him [Hendricks] in any manner whatsoever and must not confer with him on any issue connected to the work of the organisation.”

The Sascoc membership‚ however‚ does possess the power to call for a special general meeting to disband the board.

“The decision to impose the leave of absence is therefore based on findings by the independent advocate that Mr Hendricks’ conduct can be seen as interfering in the nominations process of the elections that had initially been scheduled for March 28‚” the Sascoc board said.

“Such conduct brings both Sascoc and the nominations and electoral process into disrepute.”

At the centre of the issue is the claim that Hendricks’ comments to Crookes — that he didn’t believe Ravele and Davids stood a chance in the Sascoc elections — was deemed to be interference.

Crookes had disclosed the conversation to his board before they decided not to support Ravele’s bid for the Sascoc presidency.

They did‚ however‚ back Davids’ desire to stand in the election as an ordinary board member.

Davids‚ the vice-president of the federation‚ is an elected TSA board member while Ravele is there as the head of wheelchair tennis.

The Sascoc board had also directed TSA to consider the advocate’s findings against Crookes “and to consider appropriate steps against him”‚ a Sascoc board member told TimesLIVE.

TSA’s risk and ethics committee had already undertaken to review the matter.

The Sascoc elections were originally scheduled for March 28‚ but were delayed because of the Covid-19 lockdown.​