'Hands off' the cookie jar
Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, has called for less infighting and corruption in national sporting federations.
"We want the people of South Africa to know the percentage of the total budget federations spend on court cases as opposed to sports development and transformation," he said at the weekend.
Mbalula was speaking at a general assembly of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) in East London a day after the High Court in Johannesburg ordered the reinstatement of Cricket SA (CSA) president Mtutuzeli Nyoka.
CSA has indicated that it intends appealing the judgment, which found that it followed incorrect procedures in dismissing Nyoka.
Mbalula said corruption needed to be stamped out and he would not protect anyone found guilty.
"These issues are raised because of the negative tendencies and disturbing trends we have observed unfolding in our codes.
"We have a responsibility to protect our national codes," he said.
Athletics South Africa (ASA) president Leonard Chuene, vice-president Kakata Maponyane and executive member Simon Dlamini were fired in February - following a lengthy court battle with SASCOC - or among other things, bringing the sport into disrepute.
They were also barred, for varying periods, from holding a position with any sporting code under SASCOC's jurisdiction.
The three men indicated that they intended challenging the findings and the sanctions against them.
In a statement on Monday, SASCOC president Gideon Sam said the basic cornerstone of sporting excellence was good governance.
"The ills of SA sport can be traced back to administration," he said.
"If the leadership is weak then our sport is weak.
"My anxiety at SASCOC is that of marketing. We have big federations and small federations and the problem is that the big ones do their own thing and then the corporate world can cherry-pick where they want to put their money and the small federations get nothing.
"What we need to do is to collectively market ourselves." Sam warned that future funding from the National Lottery was not guaranteed.
"The amount of money to distribute has dwindled in the last three years by 33 percent each year, [which is] not encouraging for sport development at all," he said.
"We've been instructed by Lotto to observe carefully for accountability from the federations, so I must warn people to keep their hands out of the cookie jar.
"You are only shooting yourself in the foot."
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