SASCOC responds to media reports on parliamentary trip | SASCOC - SASCOC

SASCOC responds to media reports on parliamentary trip

SASCOC has noted reports in some weekend media regarding the proposed oversight trip of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation to the Rio Olympics in August 2016.

Contrary to media reports suggesting that SASCOC would be purchasing return Business Class tickets from South Africa to Brazil, these business class tickets for the three Parliamentarians are part of the sponsorship deal that SASCOC has secured with our national airlines, SAA. As such there would be no cash payment made to secure these tickets and hence the question of funding does not arise.

Furthermore, the trip to Rio has not been unplanned for. In previous Olympics, members of the Portfolio Committees, Members of Parliament and other dignitaries have been invited as guests of SASCOC to the Olympics. These invitations have a long-standing tradition that has seen selected guests attend the Olympics and Paralympics, Commonwealth Games and Africa Games.

In order to protect the integrity of the exercise in sending TeamSA to any Olympic Games, SASCOC has always maintained that members of the Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation, irrespective of political affiliation, should be invited to the event to firstly, provide an oversight role and, secondly to experience a global event that could be potentially hosted in South Africa.

With regard to the withdrawal of Democratic Alliance member, Mr Solly Malatsi, from the proposed trip, SASCOC wishes to clarify certain matters related to the process and the outcome.

In an email dated 26 April 2016, Sune Pauw, Committee Secretary of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation, informed SASCOC that Ms Beauty N Dlulane (ANC), Chairperson of the Committee, Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) and Mr S Malatsi (DA) could attend the Rio Olympics subject to permission from the chairman of the oversight of all parliamentary committees.

Furthermore Ms Pauw requested in her email that SASCOC send her information “of all financial implications of paying members’ expenses. The Committee must declare all such financial details annually and must submit a separate document before obtaining permission for attending hosted/sponsored activities.”

On receiving the email from Ms Pauw, SASCOC sent email, dated 29 April 2016, 02:16pm, to Mr Solly Malatsi, requesting a copy of his passport as well as a photo for accreditation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The email further stated: “The deadline for the Rio Organising Committee is today and we need to ensure that your documentation has been submitted.”

At 2:38pm on 29 April, Mr Solly Malatsi responded in an email to SASCOC: “I regret to inform you that my party has resolved that none of its members on the committee will accept the invitation for reasons we have communicated to the chairperson moments ago.”

While we at SASCOC understand and value the pivotal role that the media plays in our democratic dispensation, we are also cognizant of the extremely important journalistic principle of fairness, accuracy and balance in reporting on matters of a serious and sensitive nature.

Finally on the question of funding of athletes, SASCOC wishes to reiterate that it directly funds athletes who are on its Operation Excellence Programme. Currently SASCOC is funding 49 athletes to the tune of R17m from the period 1 April-September 2016. Athletes, who are not part of the OPEX Programme, are funded by their respective federations or seek their own sponsorship. Sporting federations have a responsibility to manage the sponsorship affairs of all athletes under their auspices. Contrary to media reports, no athlete on SASCOC’s Opex programme has been denied funding, struggled to obtain funding or have experienced any difficulty in getting their requirements met. Athletes are included on SASCOC’s OPEX programme based on their world ranking and results at world championships. It is therefore unfair to burden SASCOC with funding of all athletes outside of its OPEX programme. We call on the media to report responsibly on these matters so as not to unnecessarily raise expectations and cause discord amongst athletes.

Tubby Reddy


3 May 2016