South Africa

SASCOC responds to Minister of Sport's scathing report

2019-02-14 15:52
Sascoc president Gideon Sam says the majority of member federations have agreed to selection criteria for Olympics 2016. PHOTO: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Cape Town - SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) has expressed surprise after learning of deliberations of the Portfolio Committee where it was reported that the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), Tokozile Xasa, made scathing remarks about the President of SASCOC, Gideon Sam, as well as comments about the organisation, which SASCOC found "rather unfortunate".

SASCOC attempted to clarify matters in a press statement released on Thursday.

For good order and context we wish to sketch the background process leading to where we are now:

The Board of SASCOC received the copy of the Ministerial Inquiry Report from the Minister on September 15, 2018 addressed confidentially to its President. We were to respond to the report by October 10, 2018. 

Having perused the Executive Summary Report of the full report, the Board President consulted with the board and requested a postponement of the deadline of October 10, 2018 to October 19, 2018 to allow time for the board to sit and consider its response to the report. The extended deadline was granted by the Minister. The board then excising this duty, considered the contents of the report and its confidential nature and sent its response to the Minister on October 15, 2018. 

At the same time as doing so we wrote to the IOC, CGF, and IPC to seek their inputs on the above report. We have since received clear advisory from IOC and IPC, which we have shared with the Minister, as recent as February 5, 2019.

In the lead up to Annual General Meeting (AGM) of December 8, 2018 we then wrote to the Minister on or about November 30, 2018, alerting the Minister about our upcoming AGM and in a bid to solicit when was she looking to release her final report, following our first response to the report.

We then received a letter from the Honourable Minister of Sport and Recreation, Minister Tokozile Xasa on December 3, 2018 addressed to the President of SASCOC, Gideon Sam. The correspondence was inviting the President and the board to a media briefing which was to be held on December 7, 2018, which briefing was to be preceded by a meeting between the Minister and the board. However, at the Minister’s direction this briefing was changed to only include the president of SASCOC and not the board.  

The board of SASCOC received the Minister’s “Final Briefing Note, (“Briefing Notes for Media Conference on 1. Decision taken by Minister in Principle and 2. Actions to be taken, implemented and executed by SASCOC in relation to the final report”), which also acted as the Minister’s response to SASCOC’s comments on the final report at the same media conference.  

Having, received and considered the Minister’s Media Briefing Note the SASCOC AGM of December 8, 2018, resolved that a Special General Meeting must be convened early in February 2019 to properly deliberate on the report and thus allow members sufficient time to study the contents of the report and thus respond accordingly. Since the inception of the inquiry we have always taken a constructive and progressive approach.

Thus upon receipt of the final report we have chosen to focus our attention only on those recommendations where there is disagreement with the Minister, rather than nit-pick on the findings, although these have been of concern to us as expressed in our Special General Council resolution of February 2, 2019. Our silence on these findings must not be taken to mean that we in agreement with them, but rather that it would serve no purpose contesting those (at this point) in the revival of SASCOC.

Resolution of the Special General Meeting (SGM) of February 2, 2019:

The SGM resolution in summary states the following:

In dealing with Policy and Constitutional related recommendations of the report, such as election of the President, amendment of the constitution, etc, we have taken note of the advice of the international bodies (IOC and IPC) and the statutes of other International Federations, such as FIFA, IRB, etc, to which the members of SASCOC belong. 

We note that there is disagreement with the Minister on these policy and constitutional matters. In order to move forward we must have a constructive dialogue with the Ministry on how we can implement the areas of agreement, clarify areas of disagreement and find solutions.

Now therefor resolve:

1. To convene an urgent meeting with Minister to correct the fundamental disagreements and find solutions.

2. To continue to address issues of non-compliance on corporate governance.

3. The Board will report to its members on a monthly basis.

On Corporate Governance:

We wish to also state categorically that we began instituting a process of organisational renewal and austerity measures, without having to be cajoled by anyone else to do so, as early as April 2017, we decided to start the implementation of the austerity measures in the interest of the organisation. 

It is also now a matter of record that the Board accepted the recommendations of the independent disciplinary process that the CEO, the CFO and Manager in the Executive Office must be dismissed from the organisation on or about the January 9, 2018. 

Early in 2018 we also decided that we need to set an organisational development and change process in motion to:

- Develop the a Turn Around Strategy for SASCOC

- Implement corrective actions to achieve what SASCOC was set up to do

- Engage, with all relevant stakeholders;

This organisational development and change process is now in full swing and has as its mission to do the following:

1. Improve Financial Viability and sustainability

2. Re-define  the operating model to achieve maximum efficiencies

3. Regain organisational relevance and leadership

4. Fix corporate governance and resource for success.

Once again we are kindly asking the Minister to meet with us urgently so we can bring these matters to conclusion and bring up to date on the action we have taken to address the corporate governance issues raised in the report and resolve the points of difference on the policy and constitutional issues.

Read more on:    sascoc  |  gideon sam


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