DA wants to know if alleged 'sex pest' coach will be picked for the Tokyo Olympics

David Isaacson Sports reporter
A general view of the Olympic House - the Sascoc headquarters in Johannesburg. Sascoc president Barry Hendricks has acknoledged the letter from the DA.
A general view of the Olympic House - the Sascoc headquarters in Johannesburg. Sascoc president Barry Hendricks has acknoledged the letter from the DA.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it has written to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) over concern that a coach who had a criminal case opened against him for sexual abuse could be selected to go to the Tokyo Games.

DA MP Veronica van Dyk said in a statement that she had also asked Sascoc president Barry Hendricks “for an update on the status of safeguarding policies to protect athletes from abusers that he promised to put in place‚ as well as which federations have updated their policies to include protective measures against sexual harassment or abuse”.

Van Dyk said serious allegations had been made against coaches from various codes‚ including some under the jurisdiction of Swimming South Africa (SSA).

Criminal cases were opened against three swimming coaches last year‚ two of them involving cases of historical abuse.

None of them have been criminally charged as yet.

Sascoc is set to announce more members of Team South Africa on Thursday evening.

“Sascoc has had ample time to investigate allegations of sexual abuse against these coaches‚ which includes the [coaches] at SSA‚ as well as numerous allegations levelled against water polo coaches‚” Van Dyk said.

“Sascoc cannot continue to put athletes‚ some underage‚ in harm’s way.”

Van Dyk said the DA was supportive that the criminal justice process runs its course.

“However‚ we insist that all coaches who have allegations against them‚ and especially those against whom criminal cases have been opened‚ must be suspended immediately and not under any circumstances be allowed to accompany these athletes to the Olympic Games or any other competitions pending the outcome of the investigations.”

Hendricks said he had acknowledged Van Dyk's letter and written to the sport portfolio committee in Parliament.