Inside the rot at Sascoc

Former Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy testifies at the Zulman inquiry into allegations of maladministration and financial irregularities in Sascoc at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
Former Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy testifies at the Zulman inquiry into allegations of maladministration and financial irregularities in Sascoc at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam has a lot to answer when he appears before the Zulman Commission of Inquiry this coming week.

The commission seeks to investigate the allegations of maladministration and financial irregularities in Sascoc where Sam's leadership style has been termed dictatorial - all this when the athletes are told there's no money to set up a proper camp for Team SA.

Some of his own executives, who have already appeared before the inquiry, have put the sorry state of affairs at the Olympic movement squarely at his door.

Startling revelations, accusations and counter-accusations went into overdrive when the fired Sascoc trio of Tubby Reddy (chief executive), Vinesh Maharaj (chief financial officer) and Jean Kelly (executive manager) took the stand in the past week.

They accused Sam of "double-dipping" on allowances, conflict of interest by chairing companies that do business with Sascoc and his alleged disregard for HR and financial policies.

The past week started off with claims by Sascoc deputy president Hajera Kajee that the federation's 2016 elections were rigged and therefore the current board was not properly constituted after Sam was re-elected as president.

While Reddy, Maharaj and Kelly thought they had the dirt on Sam, they too were interrogated by the Zulman panel, which picked up from the trio's own submission that there were "corrupt activities among the executives".

This after it emerged during their hearing on Thursday that Sascoc board members often take advantage of the federation's service providers to cut their own personal deals on the side.

Maharaj admitted to having had a bill settled by a Sascoc service provider for renovations at his home, an amount he insisted he paid back in instalments. He also facilitated a move to get one of the board members a wedding suit.

"It sounds to me like a whole bunch of corrupt activities . individuals take advantage of this relationship [with service providers] for their own benefit and therein lies the corruption," observed Shamima Gaibie, a labour lawyer who sits on the Zulman panel.

She dismissed Maharaj's explanation that the service providers had "become part of the family of Olympians".

Reddy himself has been accused of having his personal assistant fly on a R90000 business flight ticket.

Meanwhile, Reddy is challenging his dismissal at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration where he appeared last week.

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