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SASCOC place ASA under interim administration
- Updated: April 13, 2013
South Africa’s Olympic governing body SASCOC on Saturday moved to place its National Federation of Athletics South Africa (ASA) under interim administration.
This latest development took place at Olympic House, Johannesburg during SASCOC’s first General Council meeting of the next Olympic Games cycle leading up to Rio 2016.
SASCOC President Mr Gideon Sam said in a statement on behalf of the SASCOC Board: “We have noted that the National Federation of athletics and/or individual athletes who fall under the jurisdiction of SASCOC have approached the High Court to decide on a dispute, which is contrary to its Articles, and therefore the said Federation has failed to comply with the provisions as directed in clauses 25.1 and 25.2 of the Dispute Prevention and Resolution Chamber.
“In this regard, despite Members having agreed to refer the matter to arbitration which was ordered by SASCOC, the Members and/or the Sport still continues to refer the matter to a Court of Law.
“As a result of the above, the Board of SASCOC has determined to exercise the powers vested in it in terms of Article 9.3 of its Articles of Association, specifically Articles 220.127.116.11, and to further invoke the provisions of Article 9.3.15.
“As a result, SASCOC is hereby suspending the individuals duly elected to the the Board of ASA for infringing the provisions of the Constitution of SASCOC and is appointing an administrator to take over the running of the Federation, pending the outcome of the charges to be brought against the individual Board members of ASA as referred to above and to do all things necessary to ensure that the sport is as a matter of urgency, restored to normality.
“The Interim administrator appointed by SASCOC is the esteemed Advocate Zola Majavu (SC) and as such the Board has resolved to ensure that the athletes involved in the sport are in no way prejudiced as a result of infighting amongst the duly elected members.”
On the ongoing controversy around the code of soccer and alleged match-fixing issues, Sam also confirmed that SASCOC will continue to support the measures instituted by the Honourable Sports Minister Mr Fikile Mbalula. “We will continue to work closely with the Sports Ministry on all times on this matter.”
Also at Saturday’s meeting Sam said that continuous infighting among SASCOC’s National Federations was doing the organisation no favours at all on the road to the next Olympics in 2016.
Sam pulled no punches. “We have to cut out the nonsense going on in some of our Federations. It’s not helping us at all. We have to put our house in order and look inwards.
“From my side and the board’s side, the heat is on and we’ll call relentlessly for reports to monitor what’s going on in federations. Court actions are symptomatic of a confederation at war with itself.”
Sam said that matters like court actions counted against securing more funding. “We’re already battling with funds, we’ll become extinct unless we become innovative … funding is critical and many of us will be unable to operate as in the past.
“If you don’t think out of the box you’re going to go down. Key is to be innovative in the face of challenges. Most of us are in survival mode… get innovative and you won’t be extinct. We must remember that sport is just one sector of society and there are lots of others priorities in South Africa competing for funding.”
Sam did however say that the National Lottery Board had responded positively. “We’ve talked a lot to the Lotto and they’ve responded but it’s still not enough. We’re targeting more. In this regard, stakeholders like universities and the SA National Defence Force will help. But it’s also up to the Federations to find us the athletes ÔÇô get them to the top and we’ll take over from there in our structures at SASCOC.
Deputy Sports Minister, Mr Gert Oosthuizen, in his keynote speech, agreed with Sam on the matter of sporting disputes.
“As government, we are tired of court cases, and it’s time to act responsibly. We’re pleased with the SASCOC leadership and the good work of the national federations. But we are very disturbed about public utterances and behaviour that do not serve the interest of sport. On the matter of issues surrounding football, I can say that we’ve consulted and made conclusions… in the next 17 days we’ll be showing the country the way forward in this issue.”
CEO Mr Tubby Reddy also further clarified the progress made in Cricket South Africa’s affairs.
“I’m glad to say that we finally have consensus between Government, CSA and ourselves on the structure of the board and the way forward… it was not very easy but I believe we have found probably the best solution.”
On the recently much-debated issue of the CSA emblem Sam added further information. “We have been accused of bullying our own Federations but I must point out that we all agreed as SASCOC (representing the National Federations) about complying on uniformity of the national emblem… now we are merely reminding CSA of the agreement. There is no question of bullying.
“Any resolutions made here at meetings like this are your (the federations and members) resolutions. We are speaking on your behalf!”
Further feedback regarding the National Federations saw an update of two suspended NF’s ÔÇô those of Basketball South Africa and Softball SA.
Said Reddy: “In regards to basketball, the Federation was placed under administration and an interim structure, put in place under Mr Graham Abrahams, and made up for three SASCOC nominated personnel and three BSA members. A turnaround strategy was put in place, they have secured funding and programmes are in place.
“Athletes are not being denied the opportunity to compete. There are still funding challenges but the brief is to sort things out from the ground, and culminating in elections for the national executive.
“The same process was followed in softball who face an even bigger challenge with funding but things are working well with supervision from SASCOC Board member Mr Mark Alexander.
“Essentially both basketball and softball are being helped to have proper leadership before taking their rightful place in the organisation.”
The National Federations present at Saturday’s meeting also received updates regarding a 17-year plan going forward, with regards to a sports tourism, bidding and hosting strategy between 2013 and 2030. A key element of this would be the creation of a national events fund to be established regarding the hosting of top sporting events.