Graeme Joffe

Open letter to Sports Minister

2013-02-05 10:45
Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
Dear Mr Mbalula,

I think it was year ago that you addressed the SASCOC board and was quoted as saying:

“South Africa wants medals not muffins. There was an urgent need to run the confederation, federations and sport in all its facets transparently, openly, fairly and democratically. No-go areas and untouchables should not be tolerated in South African sport."

Well, Mr Minister, the need is urgent.

We have muffins running SA sport, who are anything but transparent, they are untouchable and are destroying dreams of our athletes with their corrupt practices.

I’m talking about SASCOC.

You assisted in cleaning up CSA by setting up the Nicholson inquiry and now is the time to call for an inquiry into SASCOC, who’s board is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Needless to say, they 'fixed' the last election.

The president and CEO of SASCOC need to answer to a horde of questions:

1. What role did they play in the SASCOC election fix?
2. Are they involved in other companies, benefitting from SASCOC and Lotto monies?
3. Did any SASCOC member make any money on the Erke deal?
4. Why was the 2011 probe into Swimming South Africa (SSA) swept under the carpet? (There is enough dirt here to fill 15 hoovers including payments made to individuals to keep it quiet)
5. Has SSA constitution been signed off and does it comply with the FINA rules?
6. How many family members and friends did they take to the Olympics using SASCOC monies but there’s no money to take a SA sprinter like Simon Magakwe to the Games?
7. How many of the athletes tickets were given to SASCOC friends and family?
8. Why have SASCOC left SAFA alone in one of the SA’s biggest sporting scandals (match fixing allegations) but they continually meddle in sports like CSA, ASA, PSA and others?
9. When will the lying stop?
10. How much SASCOC money has been spent on themselves, family and friends in the last four years?
11. Why did Mr Reddy and 4 other officials, including Mr Ramsamy go to Austria when SA had just one athlete at the Winter Youth Olympics? (business class of course)
12. How many SASCOC officials went to Sudan for the CAVB elections?
13. How many trips have SASCOC officials taken to Switzerland in the last four years? (A SASCOC promoted PA is there as we speak on “IOC” business)
14. How many SASCOC officials have bank accounts in Switzerland?
15. Who benefitted from the R30 million spent on SA sports awards? (It’s public knowledge that the tender went to a friend of yours Mr Minister but don’t let that stop you from setting up the inquiry)

I have 100 other questions but this should be enough to warrant a full commission of inquiry if not a full forensic audit.

SASCOC is sicker than sick.

I also hear SASCOC are moving towards putting Athletics South Africa (ASA) under administration again.

Is this to get SASCOC board member, Keikabile Motlatsi, who lost in the last ASA election can get to run the sport via a dirty tricks campaign? Motlatsi was on the ASA board at the time of Leonard Chuene’s financial irregularities, but lost her position due to the alleged disappearance of Lotto money in her province.

Similarly, some people who supported former CSA CEO, Gerald Majola to the hilt are now back on the newly elected CSA board, thanks to SASCOC’s bullying.

It would seem to me, the more suspicious you are, the easier it is to get into bed with SASCOC and simply put: SASCOC don’t like white presidents or CEO’s of sporting codes because they ask questions.

A former SA sporting great sent me a very pertinent email saying:

“I was reading your recent articles under the opinion section in News24 and while not too surprised they have left me with such a hollow feeling. Sport unites people (and countries) like nothing else. In fact my hope for a better SA lies in the sporting opportunities for our youth (assuming appropriate educational opportunities of course).

I have seen barriers (real or imagined) being smashed down virtually overnight as people unite on the sporting field-if only in that there is a greater willingness and desire to listen and try to understand one another.

So, when I read about SASCOC administrators depriving those who should be benefitting I get livid. I back you all the way based on what you mention.

Please don’t give up the fight.“

I will not give up the fight until sport in SA is run by the right people, no matter what colour or creed as long as they are not corrupt like some of the current bunch at the top.

But the problem with uncovering this is that it is all contained in a self-preserving system.

1. The athletes had to sign a code of conduct before the Olympics forbidding them to talk badly of SASCOC for six months after the games. No one in their right mind is going to isolate themselves or risk their future participation by speaking out.
2. The individual federations rely on good favour from SASCOC for money (and therefore, their futures) and so any enquiries will be squashed, or the individual will be worked out the system very quickly if they get too noisy.
3. SASCOC will be protected by Dept of Sport and Recreation on government level, so the only way to get anything done is through successful legal proceedings.

Mr Minister, before it gets to legal proceedings and gets into the hands of the IOC, FINA and the likes, I urge you to set up a commission of inquiry into SASCOC. 

I can assure you, Majola did far less.

Yours sincerely
Graeme Joffe

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

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:    sascoc  |  fikile mbalula  |  graeme joffe


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