Graeme Joffe

Ra-ra: SA Rugby's transforming

2012-11-05 09:32
Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
“Watershed moment for our sport”, “first national federation to hold such an event” – so much ra-ra-ra and patting each other on the back at the SARU transformation indaba last week, I just wonder if there was enough time for tea and koekies.

Why we still having indabas?

Where is the Transformation charter authored by professor Willie Basson in 2006 and what are the transformation ratings of each union - then and now?

In fact on March 26, 2006 (at a similar tea and koekie gathering), Mr Basson repeatedly said "the game of rugby is in peril".

What transformation has happened in the game since 2006?

SARU GM, Corporate Affairs, Andy Colquhoun: “Mr Basson’s charter is actually being superseded by the Transformation Implementation Plan, so it’s a bit historic. One of the reasons for the new process is that the unions were not rated against Willie’s document – which will now be done to the new plan.“

SARU may be short on transformation but never short of a good spin doctor.

The real reason for the “spin” is that only 2 of the 14 unions passed the rating, Western Province and Eastern Province.

How Eastern Province have gone backwards on transformation since, with not one player of colour in the first leg of that Currie Cup promotion playoff against the Cheetahs.

But all the unions should be taking a hard look at themselves in the mirror and it shouldn’t be up to the “ra-ra-ra” mob to enforce and make decisions. It was left up to them to make the Super Rugby “Kings” decision and look what a balls up that is.

Some rugby journalists may need to “transform” as well as the “Cape Town boys club” are occasionally letting their buddy-buddy relationships get in the way of the facts.

In punting his radio interview with Mark Keohane, Tank Lanning wrote: “Mark Keohane also exposed the infamous Kamp Staaldraad in 2003 and the Geo Cronje/Quinton Davids racism within the Bok squad, which had Rudolf Straeuli fired.“

Tank, not that I want to argue with a former prop but Keohane didn't expose the Cronje/Davids racism saga. It was in fact Dale Granger at the Cape Argus. Granger even phoned Keohane who vehemently denied it. Hours later SARU put out a press release to pretend that they uncovered racism. SARU and Keohane knew about it all along and therefore condoned it.

The good old spin doctor.

And please Tank, don’t defend a mate who keeps on denying about his “involvement” with the Kings and how his “ex-company, HSM”, are handling the representation of Luke Watson and other players”.

Keohane is still on the payroll at HSM and has represented/managed Watson as an unaccredited SARU agent since the player joined the Kings.
If you were an accredited SARU agent and had been through the entire licensing process, would you be happy with this shady business deal?

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual at SASCOC and it’s almost election time.

The elections to fill various for the next four year cycle will be held on Saturday, November 24.

But when I see the names of some of the candidates for the SASCOC elections, I feel sorry for our athletes.

Just cannot understand how you can have full-time politicians, lotto board members, presidents and vice-presidents of some badly mismanaged sporting codes all standing for election.

It is so colluded with washing hands, brown paper bags and votes for promises of lotto funding.

So, it wouldn’t surprise me if the outcome is already decided before the election.

I also find it rather strange that Dr Irvin Khoza is standing for election as SASCOC president. Yes, a brilliant businessman but where is going to find time to do what should amount to a full-time job, running the umbrella sporting body in SA, while he is still chairperson of the PSL and chairperson of Orlando Pirates?
The problem is that the current president, Gideon Sam, also has his fingers in a few pies and it just doesn’t work.

SA sport and more importantly the athletes deserve an independent candidate (perhaps a former athlete with an MBA) who doesn’t owe anything to the gravy train.
As for Tubby Reddy’s position as CEO - is that going to be advertised this time as per the constitution or will the R1.7 million-a-year job just be given again to the incumbent along with the position of CFO occupied by Tubby’s good mate, Vinesh Maharaj, with no due process?

I think you already know the answer to that!

My prediction is that Dr Khoza will win the president’s election and can only hope that the “Iron Duke” is iron fisted when it comes to gravy train officials, travelling all over the world and spending money that should be going to the athletes.

I know it’s a pipe dream but with the Lotto now capping the grants to the individual sporting codes at R2 million, never before has SASCOC so badly needed a major facelift, let alone a full forensic audit!

One just has to look at the R25 million and some that was spent by the Sports Ministry and SASCOC on the Sports Awards/political rally. Not enough adjectives to describe the boring, embarrassing, cringe worthy, amateur, uninspiring, political production that was a complete waste of money.
It needs a column on its own.

I know I’m sounding like a broken record but the SASCOC elections shouldn’t be allowed to go ahead until SASCOC, some of their officials and members have had a forensic audit.
It will be the best reward for SA’s athletes!  

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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