Graeme Joffe

SASCOC CEO’s 'ghost' column

2012-08-30 11:05
Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
  Video

President of Sascoc Gideon Sam congratulated all SA's Olympic athletes on a job well done and encouraged them to start planning for the 2016 games in Rio at a gala dinner held in Cape Town.

Dear Mr Reddy

I was happy to see you took time to reply to me (a rebuttal) in your latest CEO’s column but was then terribly disappointed to learn your column was written by disgraced “spin doctor”, Mark Keohane.

http://www.sascoc.co.za/2012/08/27/ceos-chair-tubby-reddy-8/#more-16320

That would be the same Mr Keohane that resigned as SA’s Olympic team spokesperson in June in the wake of some serious allegations.

http://www.citypress.co.za/Sport/News/Keohane-quits-amid-sex-and-drugs-scandal-20120602

Mr Keohane also “resigned” from HSM, the company to whom a multi-million rand SASCOC account was awarded, despite the fact that the account did not go to tender. I have to wonder why Mr Keohane would choose not to put his own name to an article, in which he tries his best to destroy my credibility. 

Surely such a personal attack should not be laid at another’s door?

Despite Mr Keohane’s efforts, however, this is not about individuals, this is about South African sport which SASCOC is using for its own benefit.

What is relevant to the sporting public is questions of how SASCOC spends its funding and the accountability of its officers for their decisions. So, for instance, how much money was spent on taking SASCOC officials to the Games and was any SASCOC money used to transport their friends and family? 

If so - I think you need to disclose those facts and figures.

Many of the sporting federations are bleeding while SASCOC is feeding. 

Be interesting to see a comparison of what has been spent on athletes in the last four years as opposed to SASCOC officials. 

SASCOC president, Gideon Sam said he would resign if we didn’t get 12 medals in London. He should be sticking to his word and taking the dead weight with him. SASCOC needs to be run by real business people, Olympians and Paralympians  who are passionate about sport and not in love with capitalism.

Mr Reddy, I’m just assuming you approved your ghost column, so I would like to touch on a few of your punches.

Round 1

I fully understand the Olympic charter with regards to corporate sponsors.

The point I am trying to make and which you seem determined to overlook, is that the Olympics and the Charter which govern it, are there for the benefit of athletes and the supporters of the sport.  The Games are not there as a convenient excuse for officials to holiday in overseas destinations.

Money for the Games should, accordingly, be spent trying to maximise the number of athletes who can compete at the Games.  It is not only about medals, it is also about improving our sport - and to do that, we need to increase the chances our athletes have of competing on the overseas stage.

SASCOC made it very difficult for both men’s and women’s hockey to qualify for London by having to qualify twice and had it not been for Investec’s generous sponsorship, the women’s team would not  have been able to go to the second qualifier in India. Did SASCOC contribute to the India trip and why is it still necessary for some codes to qualify twice?

With both hockey teams qualifying for London, it must have put a serious dent in how many could get on the gravy train to London. I got a feeling none of the gravy trainers missed out, just fewer athletes could now go.

While on the subject, can you please tell me why we have no table tennis representation at the Paralympics?

Alet Moll and Pieter du Plooy qualified for the 2012 Paralympics by winning gold at the African qualification tournament in Egypt, in their respective disabled classes last year but their dreams were crushed by a discriminating SASCOC policy.

Is that what the Olympic charter encourages and how does this improve our chances in future games?

Round 2

Your rebuttal: “Why is only now that Power Boat South Africa or disgruntled officials thereof, raise their hands in protest”?

Is the more pertinent question not whether their protest is valid or not, rather than the timing of it? 

But to answer your question: They now believe they have a platform to share their concerns, which up until now were treated with disdain by SASCOC and individuals who rocked the SASCOC boat were labelled as rebels and many flushed out of the system.

The SASCOC legal team made an urgent application to recuse the honourable judge last week alleging his bias towards Powerboat SA.

Are these delaying tactics from SASCOC in the best interests of SA Sport and how much more money needs to be wasted on legal issues? It appears to be a common tactic for SASCOC to insist on the costliest means of litigation - either insisting on the more costly arbitration route, and, when that is following, insisting on more than one arbitrator or delaying proceedings, thereby forcing the members to expend more money before they obtain any relief.

Round 3

I refer to this week’s PSA press release issued by PSA Secretary General, Khaya Mjo.

“The most interesting thing about the SASCOC’s legal team is that, the legal company appointed to defend SASCOC is Mr Raymond Hack’s company, who was introduced as SASCOC’s legal consultant during negotiations between PSA and its breakaway group. The same consultant appoints his company when work is to be done. PSA finds this to be a clear violation of Corporate Governance ethics which SASCOC claims to be the master.

We are not surprised by such milking of money through corrupt means as Mr Hack and Mr Mubarak head of the Disputes and Ethics in SASCOC are close allies from football outvoted in the last SAFA elections and attempted a coup by applying the same tactics of putting SAFA under administration.

Thanks to the power of Danny Jordaan and his team in stopping such. We know the Minister intervened immediately as this was a big federation.

The question that everybody is asking in sport is whether we still have the Department and Ministry of Sport when Sport is being governed in this manner and Taxpayers money being used through corrupt means defending SASCOC’s personalities’ interests.“

Round 4

re. F1 Powerboating Nations Cup: I am not privy to the agreement but surely if it’s going to bring income and tourism to SA, then surely there should be some common ground between SASCOC and PSA to bring it here.   

SASCOC president, Gideon Sam appeared in the bid video, explaining  the good virtues of PSA and why it would be such a win to bring the UIM GA and F1 Nations Cup to South Africa.

http://powerboatsa.com/uimga.html

But in the power struggle, all has been lost.

Round 5

Your rebuttal: “Short in my analysis of both the Weightlifting and Equestrian cases” ...

Ironically, I have read through a lot of Equestrian case and albeit very limited in my legal knowledge, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to work out the embarrassment SASCOC were in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (CAS). CAS declared SASCOC's behaviour to be unethical and in breach of the Olympic charter.

Is it then appropriate for a member country, whose Constitution renders it subject to CAS rulings, to be criticising the CAS members when things don't go their way?

I now hear that SASCOC and the South African Equestrian Federation are seeking new and innovative ways to punish Alex Peternell for his temerity in prosecuting his rights in SASCOC's appointed Court.  It appears that SASCOC are unable to accept a ruling when it's handed down and feel the need to flog a dead horse. 

I wonder how much money and energy is going to be spent on this personal vendetta?

Round 6

We as the sporting public are fully entitled to question how SASCOC money is spent, because you are answerable to the public! As a member of the public, we are asking a question. As a public official, you are obliged to answer it. 

Round 7

You as CEO of SASCOC and president of Volleyball SA – why do I see a conflict of interests?

Is Mr Reddy going to suspend Mr Reddy if there is any maladministration in Volleyball SA? Or maybe with you as president, it runs like clockwork.

Would be great to see a SA volleyball team at the Olympics Mr President ! (not just beach)

Round 8

The whole flight issue and why the SASCOC big wigs flew Emirates to London and not that of the SA Olympic team sponsor, SAA. If SAA were sponsoring the SA Olympic team, it is reasonable to presume that SAA allocated enough space for the team and officials to accompany them to the Games.  If not, perhaps it was because what was asked of the sponsor was unreasonable. Then the question arises whether SASCOC overspent in approaching a different airline, who was paid for and how many ?

Round 9

Punch taken but even if the federations had to leave the Olympic village once their events concluded – why couldn’t the athletes still go to the closing ceremony?
I repeat, if the closing ceremony is not for the athletes – who is it for?   

Round 10 

SASCOC”s Kobus Marais has called me a liar after both previous columns

http://www.sport24.co.za/Columnists/GraemeJoffe/Are-SASCOC-fit-to-run-SA-sport-20120820
http://www.sport24.co.za/Columnists/GraemeJoffe/Bees-in-my-bonnet-20120824


But he has yet to state what I am lying about. So, I invited Mr Marais to be a guest on my radio show on Monday night.

His reply: “As you know I am a Board member of SASCOC where we operate within a organised structure. Often we are assigned certain tasks and mandates by the board, but the official spokespersons on SASCOC issues are our CEO, Mr Tubby Reddy, and our president, Mr Gideon Sam”.

My suggestion is to contact them in this regard.

But he was quick to comment on a public forum that I am a liar! 

Mr Reddy, I tried to make a comment on your column on the SASCOC website but was unable to get it published (no surprise there – I was denied my freedom of speech ) but at the same of writing this, I see two comments which read:

1) “Mr Reddy, Is that what passes for a rebuttal at SASCOC these days? A personal attack on a journalist, whose invitations to discuss this on his show you have, time and again, refused or ignored. I don’t think so, sir.” 

2) “Not a bad rebuttal, Mr Reddy! You definitely land a few punches, but in fairness, your opponent doesn’t have access to the information you do. The only solution for this kind of mismatch of perception is transparency, including a full audit. Are you up to that? “

Are you up to that Mr Reddy?

Catch Graeme Joffe on SportsFire every Monday and Thursday at 17:30 on Radio Today, 1485am in JHB, National on DStv audio channel 169 and streaming worldwide on www.1485.org.za. Follow Graeme Joffe on Twitter: @joffersmyboy

Email Graeme at: graeme@butterbean.co.za

 
Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    tubby reddy  |  graeme joffe
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