Graeme Joffe

3 lies and you're out?

2012-10-24 13:02
Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
In Twitter terms, it was called “ThatAkwardMoment”.

SASCOC president Gideon Sam admitted to lying while standing before the parliamentary portfolio committee on sports and recreation this week, while asking for R400 million to prepare our Olympic athletes for Rio 2016.

The Mail and Guardian reported that when Mr Sam was asked about his recent comments that “SASCOC was on a sound financial footing” the reply was: "No, we don't have cash. We are battling. It's just that we didn't want to create a scene at the airport. It's not good for our athletes and it's not good for the country. When you get to that place, you sort of ... you know, I mean you are all politicians. Siyazigquma izinto (we cover-up things), we don't pa ha (reveal) in public. We get together in a corner and talk about these things."

Must be a big corner.

In real terms, it’s a absolute disgrace and national embarrassment and not the first time Mr Sam has been caught with his pants down.

He lied about the SASCOC PR account, a “tender” that never went to tender. He said he “would fall on his sword” if Team SA didn’t get 12 medals in London – when last I looked he was still SASCOC president and now “siyazigquma izinto” – just glad I don’t have to pronounce it.

SASCOC “cash strapped” is because of one reason and one reason only - the gravy train.

Officials, family members and guests flying business class to London, China, Monaco, Corfu and all the other destinations is a costly business but that’s how the gravy train rolls, if you’ll excuse the pun.   

Just wish we could get a figure on what the SASCOC officials have spent on travel and entertainment in the last year.

It would be staggering.

How many of these officials are only concerned with how they get from point A to point B and don’t give a rats about the sport or the athletes?

So, let me rat on Kobus Marais who is the Shadow Minister Public Service & Administration for the Democratic Alliance, he also reports to SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy and is now the Powerboating South Africa (PSA) administrator (busy chap). 

SASCOC and PSA have been involved in an ongoing legal battle, which has resulted in PSA being suspended and the matter is now sub judice.

But that hasn’t stopped Mr Marais from travelling all over the world, acting as the PSA spokesperson without locus standi. He was in London for the Paralympics, made a pit stop in Monaco and was in Corfu last week for the Powerboating UIM.

We know who‘s paying for this.

Amazing that a full-time Minister has so much time to travel for other work.

The DA’s response: “The DA has a leave policy administered by the Chief Whip regulating its member’s attendance in Parliament. As part of this policy members have to apply for leave in advance if they are unable to be present when the House is in session. Leave of absence was granted in respect of Mr Marais’ travel to the London Paralympics. However, because the powerboat meeting took place over the weekend official leave from the Chief Whip was not required.“

Didn’t know the concorde was still flying between SA and the Greek islands!

Needless to say, the UIM in Corfu was from October 15-21 and Mr Marais was there from the 19th and only returned to SA on the 23rd. 

Not another lie!

Just a pity, Mr Marais wasn’t able to squeeze in another trip with Mr Reddy and the other SASCOC officials who just recently went to China for the “Olympic debrief” with clothing manufacturer, Erke.

Perhaps, the Chief Whip pulled out the whip.

That trip to China should be another big red flag, if you’ll excuse another pun.

But SASCOC are not answerable to anyone, they do as they please.  

Meanwhile, SASCOC are now probing Cricket South Africa (CSA) after Advocate Norman Arendse laid a complaint against CSA for “manipulating” the laws to keep him off the new CSA board.

Wouldn’t SASCOC love to suspend CSA and get their hands on that little cash cow.

Hope you’ve got your pads and helmet on Jacques Faul!

But SASCOC should not be allowed to probe any other sporting body until they’ve been probed themselves ie. a full forensic audit.

Sadly, so many sporting federations are affected by this continual greed and hunger of gravy train officials.
I see the SA Tug-of-War Federation has had to cancel their SA Development Championships, scheduled for November 10 due non-payment of their annual grant from the National Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA). This non-payment is indicative of SRSA's management of sport in this country, as almost all other National Federations are similarly affected.

It just doesn’t stop.

I know the sports minister is busy “boxing” with President Zuma, but it’s time Fikile Mbalula stopped worrying about his presidential campaign for four years time and focus on his current job, as sports minister.

SA sport is in deep trouble and “three lies” should be a strike out for the SASCOC president and all his cronies.

Email Graeme at:

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 Follow Graeme Joffe on Twitter: @joffersmyboy

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