Clarification of SASCOC’s decision on the Team SA to the African Games | SASCOC - SASCOC

Clarification of SASCOC’s decision on the Team SA to the African Games

The Board of SASCOC has taken note of the circulating correspondences from some of our member federations expressing their grievance at the reduction of size of Team South Africa to the African Games in Morocco. At the outset we wish to reiterate that the decision to reduce the size of the team is both reasonable and rational under the circumstances.

  • The circumstances leading to and the position taken in this regard has been communicated properly to all national federations whose athletes were not selected to form part of Team South Africa to attend and participate at the upcoming African Games. Reference is made to President of SASCOC’s address at the last General Council Meeting of SASCOC held on 8th June 2019 and the communiqué issued by the organisation on 21 June 2019. To be clear, it is now a matter of public record that SASCOC’s financial position has and still is under great economic strain.
  • It was on this basis, that the board took a decision that SASCOC would not send athletes to the African Games, who did not require such participation to assist with possible qualifying for selection to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
  • So as not to prejudice these sporting disciplines, SASCOC decided, for budgetary purposes, and in an attempt to ensure continued functioning from a financial perspective, that only those sports and specific disciplines within certain sport codes that require participation at the African Games in order to meet the selection criteria for the Olympic Games, would be selected to participate in the African Games;
  • The upshot of this is that the South African delegation to the African Games comprises 133 athletes (less than half the delegation that attended at the 2015 African Games);
  • We further wish to comment on the matter involving Ms J Barret from Fencing Federation of South Africa who launched a court application against SASCOC and the Fencing Federation in the Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg, regarding the fact that Ms Barret was not selected as part of Team South Africa on the basis of the above decision. It is now a matter of record that Ms Barret’s application was successful. However, we wish to state very clearly that her successful application was not on the basis of the substantive or procedural incorrectness of SASCOC’s team reduction.
  • Ms Barret succeeded in her application, because the presiding Judge, the Honourable Acting Justice Grant was limited to the fact that Ms Barret has obtained a court order in November 2018 (“the 2018 Order”) to the effect that she could not be excluded from selection for participation in international events. It should be noted that we dispute that the circumstances in which Ms Barret obtained the 2018 order are the same as or similar to the circumstances in which she succeeded in her application on Tuesday 30 July 2019. Our rights to challenge the 2018 Order remain reserved.
  • In a nutshell the judge having heard the argument by the legal teams simply enforced an existing order. This, it must be understood, was not a blanket order against the exclusion of certain federations in the games but an enforcement of an existing order, as mentioned above. The judge then ordered SASCOC, to make the best efforts to get Ms Barret registered for the African Games. To this end we sent a letter to the African Games Organising Committee on 31 July 2019 requesting that they give a special consideration to this request and accredit her to participate in the games on the basis of this judgement.
  • Lastly, SASCOC has no desire to become embroiled in public spat or any form of litigation with any of its members and will continue to engage with them directly and through its normal governance processes.

For any enquiries Contact:

Qondisa Ngwenya: 083 212 2201

Jessica Choga: 065 805 8160

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