Discussion on State of the Nation Address (SONA); hearings with South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport & Boxing South Africa

Sports, Arts and Culture

08 June 2009
Chairperson: Mr B M Komphela
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Meeting Summary

The committee gathered to hear presentations from both the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) and Boxing South Africa (Boxing SA) on their 2007/08 Annual Reports.

SAIDS answered questions regarding its role for the Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup in South Africa. They said that they would primarily support and assist in a secondary capacity.

They presented their 2007 Report. This included a background of the SAIDS, its primary mission, Auditor-General report, details about testing and the new strategic vision. They then proceeded to answer a host of diverse questions from the members. Some of the questions pertained to the funding of the organization and the categories of people that are tested.

Boxing SA presented their report. This included the background of Boxing SA, the development work that they are doing and their money problems. The members then proceeded to ask a number of questions and made a number of statements relating to Boxing SA’s financial mismanagement, resignations of the CEO and CFO, and lack of leadership.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
Mr Komphela welcomed everyone and straight away addressed the issue of Boxing SA’s dire financial situation. He made it clear that this was the last time that the Committee would entertain such a matter. He then requested all Members to introduce themselves, as a new Committee had been constituted after the 2009 elections. Thereafter, he instructed the representatives from the different organizations to introduce themselves. 

Before advancing with the actual programme, Mr Komphela requested the South African Institute of Drug-Free Sports (SAIDS) to clarify their role during the 2010 World Cup and the Confederations Cup.

SAIDS- Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup Soccer
Mr Manjra pointed out that the Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup were FIFA tournaments, and that South Africa would merely be hosting the tournaments. He explained that as a result all logistics would be managed by FIFA, and that SAIDS had volunteered their services and support. The extent of the involvement would include the utilisation of the doping laboratory in Bloemfontein, as the testing and analysis center. Furthermore, the FIFA doping control officers would be primary, while those from the SAIDS would assist in a secondary capacity. He explained that FIFA required all assistants to be doctors, and that those SAIDS doping control officers that were not doctors would serve as chaperones. He highlighted that the SAIDS had trained extra doping control officers to meet the capacity required.

Mr Komphela inquired as to who would pay the usage.

Mr Manjra replied that FIFA had a contract with the laboratory and courier service and that those costs will be borne by them. The only cost to SAIDS would be the cost relating to the extra training.

There were no questions from the other members.

SAIDS- 2007/08 Report
Mr Manjra proceeded with his main presentation. He pointed out that he would be presenting the 2007/ 08 Report, explaining that this had not yet been presented because of aborted previous attempts. Cognizant that there were new members present, he began by giving the Committee a brief history of the SAIDS. This included its establishment; brief funding information and the extent of the reach of the applicability of its rules (refer to presentation document). He set out the primary mission of the SAIDS, namely to detect, deter and prohibit the use of prohibited substances and methods. An outline of the personnel structures was presented, with names of the Board of Directors and primary staff specifically mentioned.

Information of audits was presented, namely that the Auditor-General performed it and that an unqualified audit report was received, and the areas for improvement were highlighted (refer to presentation document). Mr Manjra stated that he wanted to specifically discuss audit costs, noting that it was unacceptably high for such a small department. He further outlined how money had been spent in that period.

In addition, he presented statistics of the tests performed for the relevant period. He mentioned that the SAIDS would like to increase the amount of out of competition testing (OOC), ideally achieving a 50-50 ratio with in competition testing. The reasoning was that some athletes attempted to find ways of deceiving in competition testing and because they used banned substances for training but stopped before a competition to evade a positive result. He noted that rugby was the most tested sport because it was a high risk doping sport and because of the funding it received from rugby for this purpose.

Mr Manjra highlighted that less than 1% of tests were positive. He however believed that the true result was closer to 10%, and that this discrepancy was due to a lack of advanced testing. He presented the strategic objectives of the SAIDS (refer to presentation document) and the national testing pool criteria (refer to presentation document)

He further went through the education program (refer to presentation document) and explained some of the key performance indicators (refer to presentation document). He discussed the new paradigm (refer to presentation document), NF compliance, supplement controls and new demands. The need of support and co-operation of the committee was emphasized, with the way forward being explained (refer to presentation document). This strategic vision included an integrated framework, comprehensive blood test strategy, education campaign and national test distribution plan. In this regard, whereabouts information, the new fingerprint profile paradigm and the need for greater co-operation with other agencies relating to investigations were emphasized. 

Mr Komphela thanked the presenter and discussed the thumbprint history process, emphasisng that it was a challenge that the DG must address.

Mr J Mcgluuwa (ID) asked whether the substance ephedrine was classified as an illegal substance.

Mr T Lee (DA) requested to know where the other 20% of budget came from and where the details were recorded.

A member from the UDM inquired whether the in-competition test could be faked and what the SAIDS was doing about this situation.

Mr Komphela asked what strategies were in place to address when someone informed the athletes beforehand about the test.

Mr G Mackenzie (COPE) sought clarity on how much testing there was at amateur level and whether overseas players were tested when playing in SA. He also noted that these problems originated at high school level and wondered whether this was being addressed by the SAIDS.

Mr Manjra replied that human fingerprint was the way forward but was still in the process of progressing and that the best way to contribute to this was with increased testing. He informed the Committee that SAIDS received money from other associations, international agencies and federations for testing completed on their behalf and through donations, such as that from Supersport. He assured the Committee that this was accounted for in the financial statements.

Mr Manjra addressed the issue of quality control informing the committee that analytical sampling took place in the laboratory in Bloemfontein, which was regularly tested for quality control purposes. 

Mr Manjra distinguished between illegal and prohibited substances, noting that some forms of ephedrine were illegal but not prohibited, such as those used in cold medication. With regard to faking tests, he told the Committee that testing at competitions was un-announced except to the organizers. He highlighted that it was difficult for athletes to fake a test, because the testing officer saw the substance coming from their body, however he did highlight some methods of cheating the test. He also assured the Committee that officers of the same sex of the particular athlete did the testing.

Regarding the costs of audits, Mr Manjra made it clear that he welcomed and did not want to compromise audits, but that the auditing companies went beyond the ordinary accepted practices. This had the effect of raising the cost to unacceptably high levels for a small organisation like SAIDS.

He informed the Committee that the bulk of the testing was conducted on national athletes, but that amateurs were also tested. A limited budget meant that a limited amount of tests could be carried out. SAIDS must constantly decide on how best to direct their limited resources. He told the Committee that schools, especially private schools, were high risk and that this was supported by evidence. He however explained that there were issues concerning jurisdiction and that parental consent was needed. The one exception was Craven week rugby because the rugby federation sanctioned it.

Mr Manjra told the members that the SAIDS did have jurisdiction to test international athletes competing in SA, but no automatic jurisdiction for international athletes training here. SAIDS may test athletes training here if asked by the athlete's country, in which case that country paid the costs.

Mr Komphela said the SAIDS must work with the DG about the problem at school level, because from there it becomes part a culture. He reiterated the SAIDS must speak with the DG and work with the Education Department.

Mr Mcgluwa asked about the findings of auditor and the amount of no’s in the report.

Mr Manjra noted that there was an opportunity to amend an Act passed last year regarding school testing for social drugs to include school sport drugs. He pointed out however that the SAIDS recommendation for this was not adopted.

Mr Manjra informed the Committee that he was aware of the audit problems in the year in question. He revealed that there was a problem with the internal audit committee of the Department of Sport and Recreation regarding payment and terms of reference, and as a result they were without an internal audit committee. He however assured the members that the SAIDS presently constituted its own audit committee, which could be shared with Boxing SA for feasibility purposes. He also stated that these were not substantive issues, but were internal process matters.

Mr Komphela replied that if it was a requirement by Treasury, it was not a question of substance but rather about adhering to regulations and requirements.

Mr Manjra took the point but reminded the Committee that this was a 2007-2008 report and that the issues had since been rectified.

Mr Mackenzie offered an idea regarding funding, namely to engage sports bodies who received sponsorships, with a percentage going to the SAIDS for their work.

Ms S Ndabeni (ANC) questioned the imbalance of male and female testing officers and the imbalance between the numbers of tests performed in Gauteng compared to that of the Eastern Cape.

Mr Manjra stated that the Institute would consider the suggestion with regards to funding.

On the issue of imbalance, he explained that the split between male and female officers was due to the need for athletes to be tested by a same sex officer, thus the imbalance reflected the imbalance of athletes, with there being more male athletes. He further pointed out that Gauteng had far more athletes competing than East London, and that the reason there were less officers in East London was because the officers need to perform a minimum number of tests to meet accreditation requirements.

Mr Komphela recognized that a lot had happened since this last report, but emphasised the need of the new report for budget purposes.

Mr Manjra clearly pointed out that the budget was spent in terms of the strategic objectives approved by the Minister and seen by the committee, and that the late tabling of the report was no fault of the SAIDS, who submitted it timeously, but was rather the fault of the system.

Mr Komphela acknowledged this and said it was no fault of the SAIDS. He also asked why boxing was not mentioned as high risk.

Mr Manjra replied that it was considered high risk and that only examples were mentioned in the presentation and not a full list.

Mr Komphela advised the SAIDS to continuously present compelling reasons why their budget should be increased. This would prompt the Committee to go to the Department and request that their budget be augmented. He pointed out that there were challenges in retaining CFO’s and CEO’s due to market related costs. He emphasised however that the new fingerprint method must be developed to keep with the times and that there must be greater collaboration between the Justice Department, the police, and Home Affairs.

Mr Manjra emphasised that the Department had been engaged on the issue of funding and continued to be very sympathetic. He hoped that this would eventually translate to greater funding. He also understood that market related salaries were constrained by public service administration guidelines.

Mr Komphela mentioned that the guidelines were being discussed, but that was not a matter for this Committee to discuss presently, and that the Department could not merely cry with the SAIDS, but must do something.

Boxing SA 2007/08 Annual Report
Mr Loyiso Mtya (Acting CEO Boxing SA) presented an overview of the history and the structure of Boxing SA. He explained that the vision of Boxing SA had changed to a slightly shorter and more precise vision. It also needed to determine whether it was a going concern. He presented the objectives and told the Committee that more money was needed for the training and development projects, and that Boxing SA needed to do them for its development and social commitments. He talked about the funds, saying that it would be enough if they were only running tournaments. He emphasised that this was however not all they were doing, and that they had to also develop stakeholders. He informed the Committee that they would go on a national fund-raising drive so as not to have to depend on government grants.

Mr Mtya told the members that the he was proud of the operations. He said that he might not be proud of the funds or audits, but that he was proud of the objectives especially with regards to development. He talked about the tournaments of Boxing SA, which allowed more opportunities for SA boxers, about feeder systems and assisting correctional service to have their own championships and to go to world championships.

Regarding income and expenditure he informed the Committee that Boxing SA had a deficit and got assistance, but were requesting more. The reasons he gave are that the projects cost R2million and because they still owe R1.82 million, but are still committed to doing training and development and will continue to do so. He also told the Members that the Department promised to provide a CFO, and that they also needed a CEO, because both had resigned. He further talked about staff salaries not having been increased.

Mr Mcgluwa inquired why the CEO had resigned, and whether there had been any exit interview and reasons given for the resignation.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) compared the previous report given by Boxing SA and pointed out that there was a discrepancy because the current report says there had been an increase in fights from 70 to 88, but the last report said there was 88, so he inquired where was the alleged increase. He also pointed out that there was only one white and only one coloured pro-boxer, and asked what the strategy was to take boxing to these other communities. He further highlighted that during the previous report the Auditor-General made a number of recommendations but that very few concerns had been addressed.

Mr Lee stated that Boxing SA had been established to fulfill a particular purpose, and that this fact was not appreciated by the Boxing SA representatives. The reason was to stop exploitation and to further development. He stated that Boxing SA had let the committee down for years and that they talked about the same things every year without any change or improvement. He implored the DG to have a serious look at Boxing SA. He pointed out that Boxing SA was not a going concern because it had failed to implement the recommendations of the Committee. He emphatically stated that Boxing SA must stop wasting the time of the Committee and of boxers.

Mr L Suka (ANC) asked for more information to be provided. He also requested information about the resignations. He added that another issue was the administration capacity to track down documents, and as a last point asked for supporting documents regarding salaries.

A BSA Board Member discussed the resignation of the CEO saying that the former CEO had indicated to the Board that he was tired of presiding over financial problems that was not going anywhere and did not feel accepted by the Board. He said that the CEO asked for two days to decide but did not come back, and chose to write to the media rather, attacking the board in the media. As a result they have not had a proper chance for an exit interview.

A different BSA Board said that Mr Khumalo (the then CEO) was not in agreement with the Board on governance issues, did not initiate performance agreements and was tired of presiding over a non-going organization. He said this was surprising because that was what Mr Khumalo was employed to do. He also stated that they had lost sponsorships in the past because other CEO’s who had contacts had left.

Ms S Ndabeni (ANC) asked about the content of the meeting between with Dr Peter Ngatane, Chairman: BSA Board, and Mr Khumalo. She also stated that Mr Khumalo should have been invited to the meeting so that the Committee could hear his version of events and not a letter that was written by Mr Kumalo.
A member of the Committee commented that an impression had been created that the CEO was fed up.

Dr Nagatyane clarified that what was being read was the minutes of a meeting.

Mr Komphela stated that this did not change the fact that the letter was being read in the absence of Mr Khumalo.

Dr Ngatyane clarified that it was a normal meeting, not a specific meeting regarding the Mr Khumalo’s resignation.

Mr T Jonas (BSA board) attempted to answer why Mr Khumalo resigned. He said Mr Khumalo had run away and he went into a long explanation about someone being hired and given a job description, and not fulfilling it despite support of the board and then running to the media. He explained that there were two legs, the office but also that there was a strong board. He told a story about how Mr Khumala was from the Free State and how he (Mr Jonas) had babysat him and asked whether he had a challenge. He stated that another reason to support him was the fact that he was in the category of disabled person. In conclusion he said the board supported him and that none of the issues were insurmountable.

Mr Dikgacwi asked about a fight where one boxer was beaten very badly. He then asked about negative Auditor-General findings, about money owed to Boxing SA by promoters and money that was not accounted for in 2006-2007. He stated that now in 2008 Boxing SA was still in the same position and asked why they had not taken the previous advice given to them.

Mr Komphela asked the members if discussions would actually be productive without a permanent CEO present. He pointed out that the advice that was given by a Mr Steenkamp from the Auditor-General’s office, which included measures and steps to get out to the troubles and get an unqualified report, were not implemented. He said that the Committee had assisted the organization over many years and that, to be frank, there was no leadership and that it was a board with no guts. He stated that people had been suspended and been brought back to work, and asked under what authority the board done this because the CEO was supposed to do this. He also spoke about R400000 that was spent by each board member during the year and how members of the board did not want to talk about this and did not fulfill it mandate. He said that everyone must leave with this truth and asked the DG what else could be done do to assist. He recommended to close the meeting after the DG spoke and to write a report to parliament, because there was no point where board members acted like Hollywood and took no responsibility.

Vernie Peterson, Director-General, Department of Sports and Recreation projected significant shortfalls on the budget of Boxing SA. He informed the Committee that Treasury was not keen to increase the budget of boxing SA, however that they will submit a request using the projections as a basis for the requests. He revealed that he was concerned over lack of sponsorships and that past sponsors were not as strong as before.

Mr Komphela stated that nobody would invest in Boxing SA because there was no leadership, that there is no CEO and no leadership in the board. He supported a short-term contract for a CFO to manage the finance, however regarding the longer term for Boxing SA to have an alternate model derived from quick research.

A BSA Board Member emphasized that no member of staff who had been suspended had their suspension lifted by the board, rather that it was lifted by the CEO. He asked where would a single member spend R400000 in this financial climate and said that no R400000 was spent by one member in one year 

Mr Komphela, in response, went through the litany of problems that the Auditor-General had found, some of which was a criminal offence.

Mr Suka said that the board members did not seem to have understood the concern and issues of the members.

Mr Komphela moved on, saying that he accepted the report as it was, and that the members would make recommendations to parliament. He also asked how many meetings the Minister had with the Boxing SA, pointing out that without any political will, there would not be a change.

The board members said they had met with the Minister once, but then appointed a Mr Ellison to sit in on all the meetings.

Dr Ngatyane apologized and said they would appreciate the support and that the members would not be disappointed again.

Mr Komphela talked about the accountability emphasised by the new president and the need for improvement.

The meeting was adjourned.


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