IOC appoints ‘veteran administrator’ to facilitate Sascoc elections

Barry Hendricks. File photo
Barry Hendricks. File photo
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stepped into the fray at the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), appointing a veteran sport administrator to facilitate elections.

“The ministry of sport, arts and culture welcomes the news of the appointment of a veteran sport administrator by the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to assist with the facilitation of the Sascoc elections,” minister Nathi Mthethwa said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

“As a government, we strive to give space to sport organisations to address their own challenges and to only intervene as a last resort.

“However, being on the ground, we are best placed to sound alarms when we see shortcomings in the ability of sport administrators to provide the kind of leadership required for stable and athlete-centred administration.”

Mthethwa had asked the IOC and IPC in April to get involved to speed up the elections, but his request was declined.

But since then the remnants of the Sascoc board — with retirements, resignations and acting president Barry Hendricks being placed on mandatory leave, the number of elected and co-opted members  had shrunk from 12 to five since 2018 — had refused requests for urgent elections.

“It was in this context that our earlier invitation for the IOC and the IPC to intervene, and assist Sascoc to address its problems should be seen,” Mthethwa said.

Canoeing SA had called for a special general meeting to move for a vote of no confidence in the board and appoint administrators to usher in elections.

The Sascoc board rejected the bid and when Canoeing declared a dispute, the board dismissed that as well.

The Sascoc vote had been scheduled for March 28, but was delayed indefinitely by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But it was further complicated by accusations against Hendricks that he had blocked the nomination of Ntambi Ravele.

The Sascoc board wanted to cancel the arbitration process between the two and start over with a new one, which sports officials feared would have dragged the process on for even longer.

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