The road to elect a new president of South Africa Sports Confederation And Olympics Commitee (SASCOC) to replace Gideon Sam who stepped down last year after reaching the 70 years age limit has turned into political intrigues; with coup and counter coup .
First, the acting president Barry Hendricks was accused of blocking the candidate of Athletics Chairman Aleck Skhosana, Free State Rugby president Jerry Segwaba and Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane. But the 3 were reportedly failed to submit all required documents. The claim they vehemently denied and therefore challenged.
But in a twist of event, the boards suspended the acting president Barry Hendricks for blocking rival candidate and now declared one of distraught candidate Aleck Skhosana acting president.
Hendricks has denied the allegation, but the SASCOC Board has opted to place him on “special leave” while arbitration proceedings are conducted.
The decision has seen second vice-president Skhosana elevated into the role as Acting SASCOC President, despite the official taking action against SASCOC over his blocked candidacy for the full-time role.
SASCOC Acting chief executive Ravi Govender has claimed Skhosana’s case will not be a conflict of interest.
“Yes, Skhosana has taken SASCOC to arbitration because his Presidential nomination was disqualified, but that is a separate matter,” Govender told the South African newspaper Daily Sun.
“There won’t be a conflict of interest when it comes to him fulfilling his SASCOC duties. Our constitution grants him the power to assume the highest chair in our office immediately”.
“In terms of the constitution, the second vice-president must become the president.”
According to South African newspaper Business Day, Hendricks called for the SASCOC Board to be dissolved and an independent administrator be appointed.
“It is my considered view that most of the current Board members‚ especially those standing for elections‚ have a vested interest in the outcome of the arbitrations and therefore are conflicted and should forthwith cease to be involved in any manner or form in trying to resolve them,” Hendricks reportedly wrote.
“It is unfortunately clear that the SASCOC Board is still failing in its duties and responsibilities‚ and in my mind is incapable of self-correcting.”
The SASCOC Annual General Meeting was originally scheduled to take place on March 28, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The chaotic build-up to the election has prompted Beauty Dlulane, who chairs the Government’s Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture, to express concern over instability in the organisation.
“The chairperson of the committee, Ms Beauty Dlulane, said the leadership tussles needed leaders to reflect even during this time of enhanced lobbying,” a Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture statement read.
The important question sport administrators ought to ask is what kind of SASCOC they want to lead.
“At the centre of the organisation, Ms Dlulane said, should be the interest of the athlete, and not what seems to be happening – me-at-all-cost approach”.
“The committee expects to receive a detailed briefing from the ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture once the lockdown regulations had been lifted. SASCOC is expected to elect new leadership that will take South Africa to the Olympics in Japan.”