Cape Town - SA Rugby president and SASCOC board member Mark Alexander was one of only two board members who voted against the findings of Advocate Anton Myburgh SC, who chaired the disciplinary inquiry against Tubby Reddy, Vinesh Maharaj and Jean Kelly on December 4-7 in Johannesburg.
Explosive details have emerged which led to the immediate sacking of SASCOC CEO Reddy, as well as the organisation’s chief financial officer (Maharaj) and executive manager (Kelly) following a disciplinary hearing last month.
Advocate Myburgh is an independent senior advocate and member of the Johannesburg Bar.
At the end of his findings, Advocate Myburgh recommended ‘the summary dismissal of all three employees’.
When the recommendation to sack the three was put to the SASCOC Board, there were seven members, including president Gideon Sam, who agreed with Advocate Myburgh, three who abstained and only Alexander and Kaya Majeka who voted against the chairperson’s recommendation.
None of Reddy, Maharaj and Kelly attended the disciplinary inquiry, with Advocate Myburgh declaring that Reddy’s request for a postponement due to an "alleged illness" supported by two medical certificates, amounted to "inadmissible hearsay evidence". Both Maharaj and Kelly had not released the necessary funds to their attorney and thus were not represented.
All of SASCOC’s 75 member federations have received full details of the findings and are in possession of the explosive document.
Reddy and Maharaj were found guilty on numerous charges, while Kelly was found guilty of two charges, but Advocate Myburgh declared that "in both instances she acted dishonestly or in breach of her duty of good faith, and colluded with Mr Reddy against SASCOC. Her misconduct was severe."
Of Maharaj, Advocate Myburgh said that "in a number of instances (he) acted dishonestly or committed financial irregularities. Overall, his conduct is incompatible with the position of CFO."
According to the findings, among the guilty verdicts against Reddy was that he failed to disclose to the SASCOC Board his dealings with a Hong Kong-based company, who were the marketing agent of the Chinese sportswear brand which supplied Team SA with controversial kit to events that included the 2016 Olympics.
Don Chen, representing the Hong Kong company, sent Reddy an email on April 1, 2015, referring to an agreement for kit to be supplied at a rate of $900 (around R11 000 at the time) per set. Chen emailed Reddy to ask, "Let me know if we shall put the price up a bit or not, OK?"
The following year, on June 8, 2016, Chen then contacted Reddy’s son Mushed, using a Chinese-based sports agency email address, asking that an email be sent to Reddy. In the email to Reddy’s son Chen says he is "Tubby’s friend and partner in China."
He proposed "projects" between SASCOC "or relevant companies under SASCOC" and then wrote "of course all these projects don’t have to be real projects ... what we need is to create these opportunities and cash flow between SASCOC and the Chinese sports agency side."
Advocate Myburgh ruled that Reddy had "acted dishonestly/and or in material breach of his fiduciary duties as CEO" and referred to "fictitious projects."
Reddy was also found guilty of sexual harassment for sending a SASCOC employee an "erotic calendar" via email and asking the colleague to "identify her birthday position." He was also found guilty of "repeatedly asking for neck and shoulder massages during working hours."
Other guilty findings against Reddy included that he had acted in breach of SASCOC’s Code of Conduct by failing to disclose a conflict of interest in setting up the controversial Ekhaya and bid exhibition at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Reddy didn’t disclose that he had a close personal relationship with a marquee hiring firm managing director, David Naidoo, and entered into a SLA with Naidoo without securing three quotations. The records showed that Naidoo’s company was paid R9 million in two separate payments on May 2, 2014 and July 21, 2014, where the SLA showed that they should have received R5.94m.
The guilty findings against Reddy, Maharaj and Kelly also included that all three had acted with "grossly dishonest" conduct around the so-called SS Griffin report in the period from March to May 2017.
Reddy had commissioned SS Griffin to debug SASCOC’s offices and his own home after misinterpreting the SASCOC president’s staff meeting address in February 2017 - at which Reddy wasn’t present - and believing that Sam had arranged for the organisation’s offices to be bugged.
A payment of R171 850 for debugging was requested by Reddy and Maharaj was asked by Kelly to pay the amount. This amount was paid from the account of Volleyball South Africa, a SASCOC federation.
Another payment was made to SS Griffin, this time R28 700, on May 20, 2017, from the SASCOC account.
Other guilty verdicts against Reddy and Maharaj included acting in breach of the Finance Policy when it came to an agreement with a consulting service company.
Maharaj was also found guilty for engaging with a well-known SASCOC service provider to pay for renovations to his home, which amounted to corruption. The original quotation in January 2016 had been R90 000.
Last July, SASCOC revealed that Reddy had been suspended with full pay pending the completion of the investigation and it was concluded after an exhaustive and thorough process.
All three former executives had been employed by SASCOC for long periods; in the case of Reddy and Maharaj 12 years each, and in Kelly’s case 10 years.
"In the circumstances, despite (their) length of service, and clean record, I recommend their summary dismissal," Advocate Myburgh recommended.
This story first appeared on www.sportsclub.co.za