SASCOC in Mbalula U-turn

2011-11-29 17:00
Tubby Reddy (File)
Cape Town - SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy on Tuesday clarified the country's Olympic governing body's role in the affairs of Cricket South Africa (CSA) and denied saying that Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula had contravened the Sports Act.

Reddy was reacting to earlier media reports stating the Sports Minister had prematurely intervened in the affairs regarding the CSA bonus scandal.

SAPA reported on Monday that SASCOC was invited to the CSA board meeting where the KPMG forensic audit report was presented in July. The report indicated that CSA CEO Gerald Majola allegedly withheld information after receiving bonus payments for hosting the 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) and Champions Trophy tournaments.

Reddy said SASCOC recommended seeking legal advice on the non-disclosure of the bonus payments.

Advocate Azhra Bham, who looked into the breaches, made recommendations at a board meeting in August.

Reddy said that despite Bham and the then CSA president Mtutuzeli Nyoka’s legal counsel concluding that there was non-disclosure on the bonus issue, the board decided to merely reprimand Majola.

He revealed that SASCOC’s hands were tied as it had not initiated an inquiry and it had to make peace with the board’s unanimous decision.

"The SASCOC board have not expressed any opinion on the findings because we had to give a brief to the minister (Mbalula) as to what transpired," Reddy said.

"We did not engage on what was right or wrong on what was transpiring because we had not conducted any investigation as such."

Reddy said Mbalula had engaged with the CSA board even before SASCOC was called in to be part of the process, which was in contravention of the Sports Act.

"Unfortunately it didn’t work according to the Sports Act, which says that SASCOC should be investigating in the first instance and if we can’t find resolution for whatever reason we then take it to the minister," he said.

"But in this case, the minister got involved from day one with the CSA board, so we never had an opportunity to investigate this issue."

However, Reddy on Tuesday said he was misinterpreted.

"SASCOC were asked why we as SASCOC didn't take action after Senior Counsel had shown there was non-disclosure involved," said Reddy. "What I, in fact, was clarifying to the Board of Inquiry was that neither the Honourable Minister nor ourselves were investigating the issue. Both parties were playing an observation role. The entire process was conducted by Cricket South Africa.

"We offered jointly as Ministry and ourselves to identify an audit company with Cricket South Africa and then CSA president Mtutuzeli Nyoka identified the company himself."

Offering further elaboration on SASCOC's role in the cricket saga, Reddy said: "The other issue is that in the first instance, when the saga initially broke, the minister immediately engaged with the CSA leadership in an attempt to understand and come up with a speedy resolution.

"Therefore we at SASCOC could not investigate, as per the Sports Act, which says that we must act on these matters and only if we are unable to do so, must the minister be brought in.

"So to say that we at SASCOC are pointing fingers at the Minister of Sport is way off the mark. Even if we wanted to act, the Minister had already engaged CSA's leadership. He in fact then invited us to join them and play an observation role which is precisely why I attended subsequent CSA board meetings.

"We were observers all along, even in Port Elizabeth when the acting chairman asked for an opinion. I informed him immediately that I was unable to venture an opinion as I was reserving the rights of SASCOC."

Reddy went on to say that SASCOC enjoyed an excellent relationship with Mbalula and looked forward to working closely with the Sports Ministry on the way forward for South African sport.

Read more on:    csa scandal  |  tubby reddy

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