Aleck Skhosana hits back at IOC and IPC, calling them self-serving and opportunistic
The Sascoc Five have returned fire at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC), accusing them of being “self-serving and opportunistic” and telling them to back off.
Aleck Skhosana, acting vice president of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), even told the two mother bodies in a defiant letter that they’d misinterpreted the Sascoc constitution.
He also levelled allegations of maladministration against acting president Barry Hendricks and said the board had already resolved to proceed with disciplinary proceedings against him.
The Sascoc general assembly had voted at a special general meeting (SGM) last month to scrap disciplinary action against Hendricks and reinstate him as acting president after he’d served more than five months under suspension.
When the Sascoc Five declared a dispute with the general assembly and started proceedings to take them to arbitration, the IOC and IPC stepped in, instructing them to accept the resolutions.
They had pointed out that, according to the Sascoc constitution, the general assembly was the highest decision-making body and that the board was accountable to it.
But Skhosana told them they had misinterpreted the Sascoc constitution.
“It is entirely self-serving and opportunistic to assert that the general assembly is the highest decision-making body and therefore it could override a validly taken and lawful board decision,” he wrote in the fiery letter dated October 19.
“You know full well that that cannot be a correct or fair interpretation of the constitution read in its proper context.
“The Sascoc constitution provides in express terms that the Sascoc board exercises the authority of Sascoc on its behalf.
"Once a board decision is taken, it becomes binding on all its members and it can only be undone or set aside in a lawful manner prescribed by the constitution.
“A motion cannot simply be placed before the general assembly to override a board resolution, much like the [IOC] session cannot by simple resolution override a decision taken by the IOC board.”
Skhosana also picked out Sam Ramsamy, who was appointed by the IOC and IPC in July to facilitate overdue elections, which are now set for November 7.
“Ramsamy was appointed as a facilitator, not an administrator with powers to override the duly appointed Sascoc board.”
The Sascoc Five, who comprise Skhosana, Kobus Marais, Cecilia Molokwane, Jerry Segwaba and Kaya Majeke, are arguing that it was Ramsamy who placed the Hendricks vote on the agenda of the SGM.
It was not on the official Sascoc agenda, although the Sascoc Five have not offered an explanation on why the organisation had ignored the proposed item, which is believed to have been submitted on time.
“Placing an unauthorised agenda before the general assembly and requiring a vote in terms thereof was invalid and unlawful as it was not sanctioned by the Sascoc constitution.
"Indeed, just a few months ago, the IOC/IPC approved of the Sascoc constitution with only minor amendments.”
Skhosana said the Sascoc Five’s bid to take the matter to arbitration sought “to protect the integrity of the Sascoc constitution”.
“It was also resolved that the pending disciplinary proceedings against … Hendricks proceed,” he added.
The IOC and IPC warned Sascoc to withdraw the action “without any further delay, failing which the IOC and IPC will reserve the right to take further measures”.
Skhosana did explain there was no impediment to the elections proceeding as planned, a point which the Sascoc Five presumably think could appease the two bodies.
He further blamed the SGM resolutions and the IOC/IPC support of them for Hendricks “now purporting to run Sascoc on his own”.
“He has refused to attend or participate in board meetings, and he has purported to write letters to Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the Minister of Sport on his own without board approval.
“These in themselves are acts of defiance and constitute acts of misconduct.
“We need not remind you that we are a sovereign country governed by a constitution and the laws of the country.
"The conduct of the board is in accordance with the Sascoc constitution and the country’s laws and its constitution.”