Graeme Joffe

No response from SA Rugby

2012-10-09 14:46
Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
I haven’t received a response from SA Rugby to my last column but to be honest, I really wasn’t expecting one.

When the questions get tough and uncomfortable, SA Rugby bosses take the 5th amendment, just like their SASCOC counterparts. 

The problem is that none of these administrators are accountable because of the gravy train that runs from top to bottom.

The Daily Dispatch reporting that the department of Sport and Recreation “wasted  nearly R8-million in fruitless, unauthorised and irregular expenditure while it chalked up more than R10-million in liabilities. The financial losses come as the public protector conducts an investigation into the irregular spending of more than R2-million on local and international flights by sports minister Fikile Mbalula and his deputy, Gert Oosthuizen.”
(NOTE: The Daily Dispatch has subsequently retracted the story above)

How do Mbalula and co also justify a spend of R45 million on the 2011 Sports Award Gala at Sun City?

And already for the 2012 awards, they had a big launch function last week just to name the nominees.

Where in the world do they have a function just to name the nominees – only in South Africa for the fat cats to have another party!

So, when your sports ministry and SASCOC are wasting public funds with gay abandon, how can you expect any other sporting body to play by the rules. 

Sports administrators are not answerable to anyone.

The example is set by those above and it’s become a free for all. Ride the gravy train as long as you can.

Does that not sound familiar for SA in general?

Back to the Kings/Lions saga, I am the first to admit, it would be great for Port Elizabeth to have Super Rugby and a PSL franchise for that matter. But I don’t see the PSL using their political clout to promote PE City or Bay United a couple of divisions to the Absa Premiership and relegate a club that has underperformed over the last few years. 

Can you imagine the uproar if that happened in football?

So, you can sympathise with Lions administration, players and fans for what has been a shambolic, unacceptable, political promotion of the Kings to the Super Rugby.

Had promotion/relegation been in place at the beginning of the 2012 season, then all is well and you have the playoff but the Lions had no idea they would be gone in 2013 as a result of a “dirty” vote.

Hence, the Lions administration can be forgiven for looking shell shocked and not quite knowing what to tell their stakeholders and fans.

If the Lions follow the legal route, to whose benefit will that be, except for the lawyers. SARU have the financial means for a five year legal battle, not sure if the Lions do.

Silence is golden and the silence of the Lions administration must mean they are working on another plan or competition that could be "golden" for the Lions in the long run, if you’ll excuse the pun.
Super Rugby isn’t the be-all and end-all.
Just hope too many fans haven’t thrown in the towel already and that SA Rugby are in some way compensating the Lions stakeholders and suite holders for 2013. (hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink)

After all, SA Rugby put the cart before the horse, thinking SANZAR would agree to the 16th franchise.

It didn’t happen and SARU went behind the backs of the Lions and are fully responsible for the current state of affairs.

The Lions nor the Kings should shoulder any of the blame. 

As for unaccredited agents, I did get this response from a work colleague of Mark Keohane.

Simon Borchardt tweeted: “Another emotional rant from @Joffersmyboy. How can @mark_keohane be representing Luke Watson when he resigned from HSM three months ago? The burden of proof falls on you, Graeme. Stop being a fan and do some actual research”

Well, well, well Mr Borchardt. My research shows me that no HSM employees have SARU accreditation to be an agent. Mark Keohane was also not accredited when he acted on behalf of Luke.

Did anything happen? 


Do SARU bend the rules? 


But I do see that Mark Keohane’s brother, Shane, has a temporary license and is scheduled to take the agents test this week. Hope he passes the test and can cover for his “bru” to continue acting as Luke’s agent/manager. Must be a nice little commission if the player is currently earning R3 million a year and to be R4 million from June 1, 2013.

Not bad research, huh?

Spin how it how you wish Mr Borchardt, you guys have done it so well for so many years. In fact, Keo has made a business out of spin doctoring.
Lucky, he doesn’t need a medical accreditation for that!

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

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.

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