Petition by concerned athletes about SASCOC's handling of suspension of Athletics South Africa's previous board; Committee Report on Sports and Recreation budget vote

Sports, Arts and Culture

28 March 2011
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

A Boland athletics official expressed serious misgivings about the distribution of lottery funding. There was a serious dispute between Boland Athletics and the University of Stellenbosch over the funding of a R2,5 million Boland Athletics track upgrade. He shared the concerns of Members over the presence of members of federations on the National Lottery Distribution Trust Committees. He predicted a disaster at the next Olympics. Money was not going where it was needed and if it did, it was paid out too late to influence programmes.

An official from the Eastern Province lamented the poor relations between Athletics South Africa and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee. The Confederation had singled the Athletics federation out for special treatment as Athletics officials had exposed poor governance in the Confederation, which had used the Caster Semenya issue as an excuse for dismissing the Board of Athletics South Africa. He asserted there was an imbalance in lottery funding. The majority of the persons on the NLDT were active members of various federations. He requested that Parliament investigate SASCOC, especially regarding its dealings with the ASA board, and the involvement of federation members at the NLDT plus re-instate the suspended Board members.

Members said that what was stated in the petition was cast as the truth. They would remain allegations until the other side of the story was heard. The Committee would have to call the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee in order to hear their side of the story. It would also call former Athletics South Africa President Mr Leonard Chuene if it felt that he could shed more light on the investigations.

A former Board member of Athletics South Africa argued that the body had acted correctly in handling the Caster Semenya matter. The International Association of Athletics Federations had acted incorrectly. Doctor Harold Adams should have protected the athlete. The consequence was that the President and Board of Athletics South Africa had been suspended while Doctor Adams continued to serve on the international body. The suspensions were actually illegal as the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee had not followed the correct procedure in calling for new elections. A further consequence was that all development had been halted as the constitution of Athletics South Africa had been suspended.

Members were concerned at the manner in which sensitive information regarding Ms Semenya had been leaked to the media. The control of lottery funds distribution had to be investigated.

A verbal submission by Ms Loretta Marthinus could not be heard due to problems with her travel arrangements.

The Committee's budget review report and recommendations was approved. Recommendations were made on topics such as funding of LoveLife, school sport, the provision of facilities, high performance programmes, the filling of posts at the Department, a levy to subsidise development and control of the distribution of lottery funding.

Meeting report

The Chairperson said that the meeting was in response to a petition to the Speaker of Parliament that had been referred to the Committee in terms of the rules of the National Assembly. Members of the Board of Athletics South Africa (ASA) and staff had been suspended. They were seeking immediate re-instatement. Some areas of the petition fell outside the competence of the Committee. He warned the petitioners that they had a limited amount of immunity, but not if they made themselves guilty of criminal acts.

Adv Anthea Gordon, Parliamentary legal advisor, said the petition was classed as a Section 6(d) procedure. In terms of Rule 315(b), the Speaker had indicated the petition had been classified as a general one. She cautioned the petitioners to guard against giving second hand evidence and urged them to restrict themselves to first hand evidence. Matters such as employment practice might best be settled in a court of law or at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Mr D Lee (DA) said that former ASA President, Mr Leonard Chuene, had been found guilty by an investigation. He asked where the Committee stood on the issue.

Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) said that there were already Parliamentary proceedings in place. The Committee could be embarrassed if it made a finding contrary to that of a higher authority.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) said that there were 55 signatories to the petition. He saw only four present. He asked if the Committee would listen to all. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) was also a role player, and he asked if they would get a chance to put their case.

Adv Gordon said that matters had been raised that were no longer relevant. There might still be legal action. The petition covered several issues. There were concerns over the relationship between ASA and SASCOC. It was not purely about Mr Chuene. There was an allegation that SASCOC was ignoring provisions of the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Act (NSRAA). The Committee could not touch on some matters, but could take action on others. Members had a valid concern.

Mr MacKenzie said that if there were allegations of disregard of the NSRAA, then SASCOC should be represented.

The Chairperson said that SASCOC would be called. It would be a length process to hear 56 parties. All would have the opportunity to address the Committee if they so wished. The matter must not be dealt with in a clandestine manner. When the petition was presented to Members he had asked them to keep it confidential until this hearing. The petitioners had a right to be heard. This was the third such petition he had dealt with in his career. This hearing was the first phase.

Submission by Wilfred Daniels
Mr Wilfred Daniels, President, Stellenbosch Athletics Club, was not a petitioner, but had raised his concern with the Chairperson and other Members. He had managed ASA's High Performance programme. His particular concern was the distribution of lottery funding. There had been a running battle in the Boland between the University of Stellenbosch and Boland Athletics over a loan. There was a pending court case by the University against the federation over money which should have been paid over for a new athletics track. He had been called in by Mr Chuene after a meeting between the two parties. Mr Chuene felt it necessary to inform Mr Daniels of what had transpired. Mr Chuene had not attended the meeting but had given Dr Harold Adams, the President of Boland Athletics at the time, telephonic instructions. Dr Adams did submit a written answer. Dr Adams subsequently became a member of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust (NLDT) during November 2009. The University had been instructed to sign a Memorandum of Agreement. The Stellenbosch Athletics Club had not been given the answers to questions they had raised.

Mr Daniels said that a Council meeting had been called for all Boland clubs. Two members of the NLDT were present. Dr Adams was one of these although he attended this meeting in his capacity as President of Boland Athletics. The NLDT, represented by a Mr Ncula, had explained at length that Boland Athletics had been exonerated from any wrongdoings, and had been praised for their use of lottery funding. Mr Daniels, although being delegated by his club to represent them at the meeting, was told by Dr Adams that he only had observer status. He had asked to see a written report on what Mr Ncula had said. This was not forthcoming. He was unable to pursue the matter at that time, but did approach the Lottery offices in Pretoria. He was told by the Compliance Manager, Mr Mvelisi Hlungulu, that there was no final report. He did not know how a member of NLDT could make such statements. Boland Athletics was now flush with money. All people had to do was apply.

Mr Daniels said that the University's demand for R2.5 million had never been put to the Boland clubs. Their attorney had made a demand for the money. There had been no discussion yet at Boland Athletics. All was not well in the NLDT. The clubs would be liable for the R2.5 million, perhaps with legal costs as well, if the University won its case. People were running their own campaigns on the back of lottery funding. People had stated in the media that allocation of money was flawed.

Mr Daniels said that his final concern was that the Compliance Officer did an in loco inspection. He then had to report to the NLDT, against whom the complaint been made. This was a case of a player being the referee as well. He undertook to hand over relevant correspondence to the Committee.

Mr Lee said that the only person he had congratulated in the Caster Semenya scandal was Mr Daniels, who had conducted himself admirably. Mr Daniels had been denied the right to speak at a meeting. He asked if Mr Daniels had complained to ASA or SASCOC. If the local people did not grant him his right to participate he should have referred the matter to these higher authorities.

Mr Daniels said that the meeting was on 13 November 2010. There was a follow-up called at the last minute during December, which neither he nor his club could attend.

Mr MacKenzie asked when the money was allocated to the University. It was a public institution with strict accounting criteria. If they had failed in this aspect, there should be some record in the University's financial records.

Mr Daniels said that in 2005 Dr Adams was both President of the Maties Athletics Club and the Boland federation. There was an international meeting involving the United States of America (USA) scheduled for April 2006. Dr Adams used his position to lobby for an advance of R2.5 million to upgrade the track. A loan was given with the proviso that the lottery would be approached for retrospective funding. This was not how the system worked. The lottery money was only paid to Boland in 2008. About R3.7 million was granted. This became public knowledge, and the University had started making demands. This matter had not been put to Boland Athletics formally. The first legal letter was sent in July 2009. His experience was that it was best to deal with problems internally. He did not want to see the matter going to court and ending up in the hands of expensive lawyers while serious work was needed in the rural and underdeveloped areas. He did not see how this promise could have been made to the University, which had its own capacity to apply to the lottery.

Mr L Suka (ANC) said there had been a jovial mood at one of the meetings. Mr Daniels had been denied the right to speak. The clubs had been promised a pay-back. If the environment was not favourable to asking the questions, he asked why the Committee should trust Mr Daniels if he had not posed his questions at the time. There was a problem with the distribution of lottery funding. The Committee would have to call the Lottery Board to account. More clarity was needed on a cordial meeting that had not served its purpose.

Mr Daniels said he had been denied the right to speak. When people were promised money they would be happy. On the day in question he would have been fighting a losing battle had he raised any objections.

Mr Dikgacwi asked if it was the same meeting that he had been invited to attend. It was. He had told the meeting that the body was lacking in transformation. Mr Ncula had spoken before him. He would check his notes on what had happened.

Mr J van der Linde (DA) asked if the upgrade had been made, and if the Boland people thought that the University had funded it.

Mr Daniels said that the upgrade had been completed by the end of 2005. He and the clubs did not know who had funded it despite his position on the Board of Boland Athletics at the time. He had later joined the Board of ASA and had had to leave the province.

The Chairperson said that Mr Daniels was talking to the hearts of the Members. They felt that SASCOC talked a lot of corporate governance but did little about it. The issues at ASA centred around corporate governance. He asked if Mr Daniels agreed with the perception that SASCOC was a proponent of corporate governance.

Mr Daniels said that SASCOC was expected to advocate corporate governance. However, he felt that SASCOC was not practising what it preached. There was an abuse of power. Members of Boland Athletics had been misled.

The Chairperson said Mr Daniels's input that he painted of NLDT came down to an abuse of power.

Mr Daniels could not speak on behalf of SASCOC. He would not close his eyes and go with the flow. This was why he had raised the issue at this level. He predicted a similar disaster to the one South Africa had experienced at the Cricket World Cup, at the next Olympics. Money was not going where it was needed and if it did, it was paid out too late to influence programmes.

The Chairperson asked Mr Daniels's opinion on leaders of sports federations sitting on the NLDT Committees.

Mr Daniels said that in an ideal world there should be neutrality. This was not possible in South Africa, Committee members could recuse themselves from voting on issues affecting their bodies, but could already have influenced other members.

The Chairperson asked why the University was not paid.

Mr Daniels had assumed that it was due to an election at the Maties Club in 2008. There was animosity between Dr Adams and the University management. ASA was still unofficially unaware of this issue.

The Chairperson asked who had benefited from the R3.7 million.

Mr van der Linde asked what was applied for. This should have been discussed at Boland level. He had the experience of applying for R1 million for a schools project but only receiving R25 000.

Mr Daniels said that nothing had been explained to the Board.  He could not answer as this matter had never been explained. He recalled a similar situation with a grant from the Sports Trust.

The Chairperson asked what the role of the Compliance Officer was. He was told that visits were not unannounced. It seemed that matters were swept under the carpet.

Mr Daniels replied that the Compliance Officer had been suspended by the Lottery Board and had later resigned. He presumed that this person had been in cahoots with the people being inspected. A case of good Boland wine might make him overlook some faults. There was no report on the file, and yet there was a glowing report presented.

Dr Simon Dlamini, former ASA Board member, said that there were other forums to pursue. SASCOC had been given powers and credibility they did not deserve. He respected the House. Some people disrespected the House but were still rewarded.

Submission by Mr Michael Mbambani
Mr Michael Mbambani, Chairman, Mr Price Eastern Province, was from Port Elizabeth. He had served two terms as Vice President of Eastern Province Athletics. He wanted to draw the attention of Parliament to some issues that were derailing the sport. The campaign was launched in January 2011. Actions by SASCOC continued to disregard provisions of the NSRAA. This it did by suspending ASA staff and Board members. SASCOC and the National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) was fixated with removing the management of ASA. SASCOC had abused its mandate by suspending the ASA board. This was because ASA refused to accept SASCOC's faults. Former Board members of NOCSA had served on the Board of SASCOC. Due to continuing conflict, certain Board members of ASA were seen as threats. In 2008 SASCOC appeared before the Committee and had been unable to show its commitment to transformation. The then SASCOC President had gone out to attack Mr Chuene even though he was not found guilty of any offence. In 2009 ASA had refused to support the nomination of Mr Gideon Sam to take over as President of SASCOC.

Mr Mbambani said that ASA supported Mr Moss Moshishe to stay on as President of SASCOC. He was the best bet to achieve transformation. The former NOCSA members had exploited the Caster Semenya matter as a chance to unseat the ASA Board. Repeated requests for the release of the report by SASCOC had been ignored. There were unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct by ASA officials. Leadership was going through the same pain as when Mr Chuene had been tried in the media. The report by SASCOC contained unequivocal evidence that ASA had acted correctly and was thus being suppressed. Ms Semenya was still being allowed to participate in female events. Taking action against Ms Semenya was seen as going against many aspects such as transformation and the freedoms fought for by the ANC.

Mr Mbambani said that the matter of Ms Semenya had not been dealt with according to either the SASCOC or ASA constitution. Some SASCOC executive members, especially Mr Sam, had actively sought to cause havoc within the ranks of ASA. This was largely due to Mr Sam collaborating with some ASA members.

The Chairperson said that Mr Sam was not present. No accusations should be made against him in his absence. Mr Mbambani could refer to the office but not the the person in his absence.

Mr Mbambani said that there was an imbalance in lottery funding. The majority of the persons on the NLDT were active members of various federations. SASCOC would always survive to the detriment of some of its members as members of certain codes were adjudicating their own grants. If they were not able to account to this Parliament, he asked where they could be held to account. SASCOC was always silent when the big codes like rugby, soccer and cricket were put in the spotlight. Dr Adams was central to the Semenya issue, and was subsequently appointed to the NDLT. He felt that this was a reward for Dr Adams's role in bringing down he ASA. He alleged that certain “blue-eyed boys” ran some of the federations. He requested that Parliament investigate the activities of SASCOC, especially regarding its dealings with the ASA board; the involvement of federation members at the NLDT and re-instate the suspended Board members.

Mr Mbambani said that a poisonous snake would not kill itself if it bit itself.

Mr Lee said these were serious allegations. He wanted to hear both sides of the story. He had had experience of certain sports people. Fairness had to prevail. He asked if ASA had been treated badly by SASCOC compared to other codes. Other codes might have the same experience. ASA had held elections. He asked what would happen to the new Board. Mr Ray Mali had been an interim administrator. The more he listened, the more he thought that the Committee must speak with SASCOC. He could not support the views put forward by Mr Mbambani, but wanted to hear both sides of the story. The management of SASCOC had been elected by the federations. He hoped that Mr Dlamini was not blaming Parliament for the hurt suffered.

Mr Mbambani said he was a disciplined member of the ANC. He did act for himself but for the organisation. He abided by the decisions of higher authority. He was not talking of Mr Chuene as a small boy but as a champion of transformation. Those that disagreed with him, saw him as a threat. He was not in the wrong code. He would not go join a small “mickey mouse” code such as those that formed the voting powers of SASCOC. Volleyball was an example of a small code that had equal voting rights. He believed that there three sides to a story with the third being the truth. A mistake was that people discussing an issued wanted to align the truth with their beliefs rather than moving towards the truth.

Mr MacKenzie said that another fundamental issue raised was the lottery. Both presenters had referred to a conflict of interests. Regarding SASCOC's practices towards ASA, he also needed to hear both sides of the story before forming an opinion.  Other people would need to be invited.

Mr Mbambani would be confused if he had to run to Parliament. SASCOC was undermining Parliament and those who had died to create freedom. SASCOC had snubbed Parliament twice. They had to be stopped.

Mr Suka appreciated the presentation directing Members to a document. He agreed with the suggestion that SASCOC be invited to Parliament. The President should have led the issue from the front. The Ministry of Sport and Recreation should also intervene, according to SASCOC. The Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) should also be invited to attend. A matter was being raised which had been debated in the previous financial year (FY). A clear recommendation was being made. The petition was a public document. The accusations were not termed as allegations but as facts. A worrying fact was that the Presidents were not seeing eye to eye. Their relationship seemed to be at the lowest ebb.

Mr Mbambani said that Mr Chuene had arranged a toll-free telephone number so that he could answer the queries raised by the public. For SASCOC to prosecute ASA leadership while being judges at the same time seemed to be seriously wrong. ASA had never gone to the print media, but worked through its own radio stations. Development was about a black boy in the rural areas.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) agreed with Mr Suka. The petition was written while the ASA leadership was under suspension. He was assured that there were no more current suspensions. He asked if the buck stopped with the Committee. He asked if the petitioners had read the report made by the expelled leaders of ASA.

Mr Mbambani said that ASA had tried to stop individual athletes from taking actions. Road running was dominated by black athletes, but resources were being shifted to tracks with accompanying logistic problems. He was trying to respond to the suspension of athletes and officials. It was suggested that a new federation be formed. He felt that this was wrong. He doubted that Parliament had the document on the suspensions and expulsions. He felt that Parliament only had the documents on the Caster Semenya issue. ASA had a constitution which he respected, subject to the South African Constitution. It was not part of his culture to resort to court action. He was used to robust debate. He could accept defeat, providing proceedings were fair.

Mr Mbambani said that minority groups were responsible for problems. He did not wish to elaborate. Pressure groups kept trying to unseat leaders. There would be retaliation.

The Chairperson said that Mr Mbambani had attempted to give an adequate response. He asked if Mr Chuene would be present. The Committee had started with the petitioners. If Members felt the need to question Mr Chuene they would. Mr Chuene had not initiated this situation. The Committee would decide if his evidence was needed and would not be forced into making a decision. The middle view was often the correct one. If people had gone beyond their terms of reference then the middle line must be found. The Committee had observed peculiar quirks on the part of SASCOC. This Committee had a clear mandate. Even the Minister was summoned by Committee at its discretion. If there was an impression that SASCOC was undermining the Committee, this was incorrect. SASCOC was colluding with some officials of Parliament to undermine processes. The Committee would determine if SASCOC should attend. The Committee had created SASCOC through an Act of Parliament and would destroy it, if necessary. Mr Mashishe, former President of SASCOC, had tried to undermine the institution but failed. No-one could obliterate Parliament.

The Chairperson said that issues might be referred to the Minister. The terms of reference for the former Minister were to engage SASCOC to investigate the Semenya affair. This mandate had not been extended. Cricket now had many problems. There was an insinuation of bad governance, but SASCOC had nothing to say. People in the PSL were soliciting sponsorships and took 10% as commission. He had never seen such an arrangement. Not a single element of the Picard Commission had been implemented. The mandate on Ms Semenya was clear. Members were quite aware of the issues.

Mr Mbambani said that he understood Mr Chuene was still the President of ASA. It was a “small boy from Cape Town who was driving the DA's agenda in athletics” who was controlling ASA at present.

Mr Lee took exception to this remark.

Mr Mbambani withdrew his comments. He had minutes from a recent meeting of ASA provinces where all provinces had committed their support to the ASA board. There had not been a vote of no confidence.

The Chairperson said that it was not correct to raise the DA issue. At the ANC conference at Polokwane it was said that that the party was in disarray over the contest for the presidency of the party. The media had come with a political agenda.

Mr Suka pointed out that theirs was a diverse parliamentary committee, representing various parties. There should be no insinuation about the political affiliations of people.

Mr Lee always said that he believed that Mr Komphela was unbiased in his work as Chairperson. Members may joke with each other, but the Chairperson understood the multi-party nature of the Committee. He thanked Mr Suka for his remarks.

Submission by Dr Simon Dlamini
Dr Dlamini was currently a high school principal and had grown up in ASA. He was either a suspended or expelled board member but he was still alive in sport. He apologised on behalf of Mr Mbambani. There were people who had been victimised by ASA for years. He was not sure when he would next have the opportunity to visit Parliament. Members would remember what he said in time. The principle of ‘hearing the other side’ had never been upheld. Only Parliament respected this principle. Reports were always made that the integrity that Members deserved. He alleged that SASCOC would never appear before Parliament before the 2012 Olympics. The Olympic Charter afforded SASCOC some powers but was created by the South African Parliament. This needed to be checked.

Dr Dlamini said that Dr Adams was cruising in the position in which he found himself. He had been a Board member of ASA many times. Dr Dlamini had been unfairly seen as an opponent of Mr Chuene. After the meeting regarding the Stellenbosch track, Dr Adams had started avoiding meetings while campaigning against Mr Chuene. As long as the NDTF adjudicated on allocation of funds, federations could be held to ransom.

Dr Dlamini said that the ASA constitution had been arrested since 2009. Members were told that the Semenya issue was closed, but on 2 November a member of the Board resigned. A few days later the rest of the Board was suspended based on the advice of Parliament. Letters of suspension were sent by facsimile from the office of the Minister. There was no explanation. Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation Gert Oosthuizen was quoted in public as saying that Chuene's head must roll. The ASA constitution was suspended. Any decision taken was not recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The President of Road Running was the Chairperson of ASA. There had never been a meeting where a resolution was passed. Recommendations were made and endorsed. When the Board was suspended, ASA was suspended from SASCOC as well. Some administrative members of ASA were also suspended.

Dr Dlamini said that SASCOC decided unilaterally that the suspension should be uplifted. It was always SASCOC/ASA vs suspended Board members. Parliament was the only institution informing the public. He was mentioned in an affidavit as being prepared to contest the Presidency. There had been a call to stop a planned lekgotla and rather use the money on athletes going to China. He was told that things had changed. The ruling party was dragged into the matter. People were told that their advancement would be boosted by being an ANC member.

Dr Dlamini revealed that Mr Isaac du Plooy of Deloitte and Touche, who had conducted an uncalled-for investigation, approached him in March 2010. He told Mr du Plooy to correspond with him in writing. Mr du Plooy preferred to meet him personally. The President of SASCOC had told Mr du Plooy to approach Dr Dlamini to get him to provide evidence of maladministration. He knew what they were looking for, but declined. Allegations made in the Sunday Times, refuted in court, were the basis of the investigation. Financial matters did not feature. There was a witch hunt against hard working South Africans.

Dr Dlamini said that all development programmes had been stopped. The Board in place currently was illegitimate. No agreements could be concluded. The sport was being held to ransom by the arrest of the constitution. Support to developing athletes was discontinued. A promising sprinter, Simon Magkeba, who had been sent to Jamaica, had faded from the scene.

Mr Daniels said that Mr Magkeba was a student at North West University. His mother had lost her job and was homeless. He had arrived at Stellenbosch with his kit in a shopping bag. The sponsorship arranged for him had been discontinued.

Dr Dlamini said that there was a perception of incompetence. SASCOC was conducting a witch hunt. SASCOC had acted illegally. The meeting of 21 November was bulldozed on ASA. SASCOC had decided to fly people to a different meeting at another venue. The notice from SASCOC was sent on 17 November. It cancelled the meeting arranged by ASA and instead called another meeting on 21 November. A limit was set of nine people to attend. The elections held were unconstitutional. SASCOC replaced the board with people of their own choosing. A private investigator would have been appointed. The support of the Committee was needed to unpack the events. The NSRAA was not applied properly. The sport had been polarised. Sixteen years of hard work had been reversed.

Dr Dlamini said that ASA was a non-profit making company, but had been registered as a Section 21 company in November 2006. It was led by Dr Mervyn King. There were big names involved in the financial and business Committees. Some people knew the truth but not the public. He asked how the name of Dr King could be used in vain.

Dr Dlamini said that ASA was an affiliate of SASCOC. SASCOC was not a shareholder of ASA. Both were juristic persons with separate legal persons. Due procedure was needed to separate the two entities. He did not go to a meeting to criticise teachers but to offer support. Support was needed.

Dr Dlamini said that influential people dealing with ASA matters were not publicised. ASA was not able to say anything on the Semenya case. When ASA begged the nation to accept an apology, it was never accepted.

Dr Dlamini explained the process of judicial management. SASCOC did not follow this model. The relationship was to be found in the judgement of Justice Pius Langa and others. ASA derived its powers from its mandate. SASCOC was made up of a number of members, including ASA. SASCOC did not have the right to intervene in the internal affairs of ASA. Such views were never explored. People were still being told to conform. The constitution of ASA had been thrown away. He thanked sponsors such as Nedbank for their continued support. The constitution of ASA must comply with that of SASCOC. SASCOC enjoyed current jurisdiction with any of its members. It did not, however, give SASCOC the right to take control of a member, but only to take action against any member. ASA had been ousted from SASCOC in the past. He asked why there were battles with successive presidents of SASCOC. There was a prime factor in the equation. Members should look for themselves.

Dr Dlamini declined to name a person responsible for bringing federations together. At a conference in Bloemfontein in 2010, the President of SASCOC had asked not to take the ASA matter into consideration as the board of SASCOC was not in agreement over the issue. Staff members did not have a contract with SASCOC, and SASCOC therefore had no power to suspend Board members or staff. He called on the Committee to investigate the powers of SASCOC. A lot had been lost in the process. The Committee must check on the status of SASCOC members serving on the NDDT. He had a sixth sense that the Minister had come to KwaZulu-Natal to launch the Magnificent Friday campaign. He was in charge of a big school and had no choice but to make his school available. Two big schools filled the Umlazi stadium. Dr Dlamini was told to go to the podium to collect kit from the Minster. He felt that he could not be seen shaking the Minister's hand as there could be an inference of improper influence.

Afternoon session
Mr Suka appreciated the presentation. Mr Dlamini had not minced his words. Provocative matters had been raised. Any sport was driven by an ideology. If government lost its touch, it would surely always be chasing shadows. Members needed to go back to the basics to ensure that they were still the victors. It was painful to hear about people losing jobs because of their principles. The second issue was one of clarity. He could see that relations were strained especially when internal matters were dealt with by an external agency. He asked if the Minister had signed the letters advising them of their suspension. SASCOC might not have had the facility to send the facsimile, but it was a different matter if the Minister had signed the letters.

Mr Suka said that the failure of the development programme was a serious indictment. He asked if this situation was still the status quo. His third issue was around constitutionality. He asked whom the IAAF recognised as the legitimate structure. The statement by the Deputy Minister was made in the heat of the moment. Some perspective was needed. An Act of 1973 had been raised but he had missed the explanation. He asked if this Act was still in existence. Most of the pre-1994 laws had been repealed. He noted the call for a forensic investigation. Members would want to hear all sides of the story before applying their minds. Sometimes one had to take one step backwards to move two steps forward.

The Chairperson said that one should only be moving forward.

Mr Dikgacwi said that the President of SASCOC had instructed Mr du Plooy to undertake a forensic audit. He asked if this had indeed happened, and on what grounds. He asked who had convened the lekgotla which some felt should have been cancelled. The toppling of the President of SASCOC was campaigned for by Dr Adams.

Mr MacKenzie felt that the Committee should rather take over the lottery funding distribution.

The Chairperson liked this idea, but Members would have to leave their personal involvement with sports bodies behind.

Mr MacKenzie said the gist of the presentation was the questionable legality of the steps taken by SASCOC. The heart of the matter was whether the actions of SASCOC were legal. The courts would have to rule on this. He had heard a lot of deep hurt and anguish. It was the responsibility of Members to hear all the concerns. He anticipated a vigorous debate on the way forward. Dr Dlamini had quoted extensively from the constitution.

Mr Mbambani said that the impression had been given that SASCOC was responsible for the elections. IAAF had given SASCOC and ASA a deadline of the end of September 2009 under pain of suspension. In terms of the ASA constitution, a 21 day notice had to be given. The period was only one and a half weeks. He therefore felt that the new Board had been appointed illegally.

Mr Daniels said that there had been speculation as to how Dr Adams had been appointed. Dr Adams had bragged that the Deputy Minister had campaigned for his appointed to the NLDT.

Dr Dlamini had a copy of the facsimile in question. It carried the number of the Minister's office. The situation would have been very clumsy if the Chairperson had not spoken on various radio stations. He had made a statement requesting the Minister to provide something. The Minister had made a statement supporting SASCOC's actions. Deputy Minister Oosthuizen was quoted in an e-mail from SASCOC with the comment on Mr Chuene being dismissed. There was a newspaper article in which SASCOC expressed an opinion that Mr Chuene had served two terms as President and should move on. There was a history of antagonism between ASA and SASCOC. The ASA board had asked Dr Dlamini to lead a meeting. Difference should be solved by face-to-face contact rather than lengthy correspondence. The document that he distributed to Members would show the history of antagonism. NOCSA had not wanted to recognise ASA. ASA felt deprived. The ASA President represented the country in African athletics bodies. People did not want to understand the role of athletics at the Olympics. Various African countries were struggling to cope with this. The Minister had never explained why the letter was faxed from his office.

Mr Mbambani said that the disappearance of development would impact on the country's performance at the 2012 Olympics. This code was the flagship of the Games. The only athlete likely to compete for a medal would be Caster Semenya. Simon Mowepi had taken a job with Transnet and did not have time to train. This was not a unique situation. Other top athletes were not competing at the Yellow Pages events. There was a serious conflict of interests. The current Chairperson, James Evans, was a service provider to ASA. If SASCOC had been able to suspend Mr Chuene and the Board, he asked why Arnold Malherbe had not been suspended for making certain revelations in a blog spot. Hendrick Ramaala was an elected Board Member but did not have the right to work at the ASA offices, but was now the one calling the shots. People were asking what political mandate Mr Evans was carrying. Mr Mbambani's followers were keen to disrupt athletics meetings but he was preventing this from happening.

Dr Dlamini said that ASA was a federation that was a tool for delivering services. He liked he vision of ASA. It was taken from the preamble to the Constitution. ASA was a member of the African body as well as IAAF. ASA used the IAAF rule book. It was subservient to the IAAF constitution. This happened in all other codes.

Dr Dlamini said that the IAAF had never said anything about Ms Semenya. A gender verification test was a competency at an IAAF level. When ASA was saying it knew nothing, the IAAF was using its own structures to administer its own policies. ASA officials could not discuss issues that it had no information on. This made it difficult to keep the public informed. There had been a meeting in the Boland, attended by Mr Chuene. A member had to explain what had happened with the money for the University of Stellenbosch. Dr Adams was this man, and served on the IAAF Medical Panel. They were lying when they said they knew nothing. ASA stood by the athlete, and was still suffering. Tests were done in South Africa under instructions from the IAAF. There were some protocols that could not be ignored. Mr Chuene had phoned him while in the gymnasium. He told Mr Chuene that no international body could change the ASA Constitution. Mr Chuene had resigned from the IAAF Board. ASA knew only rumours. They apologised on behalf of the IAAF but this had never been accepted. Dr Adams was the only person who knew about the Semenya affair. Mr Chuene resigned as a matter of conscience. This was the price he paid. Dr Adams, however, was still on the IAAF Medical Committee and also had a job at the lottery.

Dr Dlamini said that the Companies Act of 1973 was being used by SASCOC. Mr du Plooy had not been given any written instruction, but was a member of the Deloitte and Touche auditing team. The team had investigated ASA's affairs for three weeks but found nothing. This is why Mr du Plooy had asked him to give information on Mr Chuene. A former financial manager was flown from London to testify. She was aggrieved because she had not been appointed as general manager. This lady did not even have a matric qualification. This was another issue fabricated to topple ASA. This was why the Board of ASA was dismissed.

Dr Dlamini said that when lottery money was paid out, federations were told which service provider to use. A lot of investigation was needed. R17 million was pumped into athletics. There was a lot that needed to be investigated. The former Board members would not allow themselves to be used as a bridge. They could not be corrupted. He told the Members to forget about the Sunday Times report. The lekgotla was convened by SASCOC under Mr Moshishe. A lot was said about transformation. The lekgotla would have been held in September. The argument was made that money should rather be used for team preparation. Mr Chuene's stance led to him being vilified. Mr Chuene was speaking on behalf of ASA but SASCOC said he was speaking as an individual. Dr Adams campaigned for the ousting of Mr Chuene. He only learned recently that the feud between the two arose from the Stellenbosch money. He had a lot of dirty linen to be aired. He was not saying that Dr Adams should be crucified. He could not tell the House what to do but needed to voice his concern.

Mr Daniels said that Dr Dlamini had raised a serious issue. People saw Dr Adams as a strong person. He claimed to be President Zuma's doctor. In Berlin, Ms Semenya's rights had not been protected by the person who should have done so. Tests were performed on her at Berlin. He had resigned because ASA had been denied access to her. IAAF had not acted correctly. Nothing was said about her human rights. She was still a junior at the time. He would have taken action against anyone who made such allegations against one of his daughters. The IAAF waited for anti-doping tests to be completed before paying out prize money. The gender verification tests could have been done after the competition without prejudicing the athlete.

The Chairperson had not realised how much was involved. The Committee had been interested in asking the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sports (SAIDS) doctors what the correct procedure was. The advice given was that this procedure could not be done in competition. Doping tests were done long before or after the competition. Doping was often done out of competition. He asked if ASA had handled the matter adequately. The Committee had not been given a proper answer. He wanted to know how the issue had snowballed. The Minister came to the Committee and said there would be a world war if Ms Semenya was stripped of her title. The country still expected her to be protected. The Committee wrote to the United Nations on the violation of her human rights. The President of the IAAF wrote to President Zuma to explain. The IAAF President should rather liaise with the Minister of Sport and not the President. The Committee had demanded that Ms Semenya should be allowed to retain her medal and prize money, and be allowed to compete. IAAF had agreed to this. The eTV news channel had sensationalised the matter.

Dr Dlamini said that the question of testing Ms Semenya in competition had not been handled properly. The IAAF had acted incorrectly. ASA's role was to protect the athlete, and could have done better. This was why ASA had to apologise.

The Chairperson was consistent in saying that Mr Chuene had spoken to a powerful politician who had said that Ms Semenya could run.

Dr Dlamini said that this was not in the information sent from Berlin. The General Secretary of the IAAF had been called on to discuss the matter. He had visited South Africa.

The Chairperson said there was a meeting at 1am in a hotel in Berlin. This matter was reported in South African newspapers later that morning. This question was put to the Chairperson. The meeting was between Mr Chuene and one other person. This news leaked to the media.

Mr Daniels was not aware of this meeting. The Australian journalist got his information from someone with intimate knowledge. Another strange thing happened after Ms Semenya clashed with a Kenyan athlete. There was an appeal to reconsider re-instating the Kenyan runner. The motivation was that there was a gender issue around Ms Semenya. Some Kenyan officials in Berlin said there was inside information that had been leaked.

The Chairperson was still puzzled about how the news could have been leaked. Mr Malherbe had sent out bulk sms messages. He asked why Mr Malherbe was not also suspended.

Mr Mbambani said that Mr Malherbe had been adamant at an earlier meeting in Kempton Park that Mr Chuene had not provided the necessary information. Mr Malherbe had been unable to provide the information.

The Chairperson asked if ASA felt they had dealt with the SASCOC matter correctly. SASCOC must explain why the President and other officials were suspended while Dr Adams was still a free agent.

Mr Daniels said this was a critical question. The ANC appointed a task team that had produced findings, including that the ASA, its Board and Dr Adams had handled the matter badly. One half of the instruction was carried out. It was a difficult time.  The task team was clear on what was required. One half was executed to the letter, while there seemed to be amnesia on the other part.

Mr Mbambani said that Dr Adams was protected because of the mess he had made in his own province. The Board's understanding was that Western Province and Boland both stood against the ASA Board, but it was apparently only certain individuals.

The Chairperson said that a number of journalists had made affidavits about Mr Chuene's behaviour. The Committee had ordered an investigation in 2008. It could not be said that the Committee had done nothing. The affidavits had been referred to the Minister. The Director-General of SRSA had handled the issue, but had since died. There was no written record of those affidavits. It would not be fair to bombard the current Minister on the historical background. The issue of ASA as a juristic person had been raised. ASA was not bound to be member of SASCOC. If SASCOC became a law unto itself, the Minister could recognise an alternative confederation. He asked why they had not left SASCOC.

Mr Mbambani said that the board had considered this step at one stage. Mr Chuene refused to write the later expressing this intention. ASA would not follow the route of SASCOC that was refusing to come to Parliament.

The Chairperson asked about the suspension of the constitution. The NSRAA said that the autonomy of federations must be respected. He asked how SASCOC could use their constitution as a replacement for the ASA constitution.

Dr Dlamini said that the Articles of Association had been quoted

The Chairperson still could not understand how this interpretation could be allowed to stand. The articles of association should only affect the relations between SASCOC and any provincial bodies. Jacob Zuma, the Deputy President at the time, could not be invited as a guest at the Soweto Marathon. However, another politician was invited to an opening ceremony. He asked if some issues were immune from politics.

Dr Dlamini said that a marathon was associated with a particular city with a particular party in government. The city of Johannesburg funded the marathon. Pres Zuma was the guest of the city. ASA always worked with mayors. Athletics was vulnerable in terms of financing. A mayor from another party in the Boland had invited ASA officials for dinner. The majority of decisions were decided by the political party in power.

The Chairperson asked if Dr Dlamini knew Dr Joe Vorster. This man had met the Committee in 2007/08. He had reported a conflict of interest with lottery distribution. Prof Noluthanda had raised the issue publicly. There was a conflict of interests in SASCOC. A number of members were affected. If they had to recuse themselves, then there would be no quorum. The new chairperson was saying the same things. He asked if genuine, non-partisan decisions were being made. Some people might be exploiting business opportunities. The Committee would have to deal with this in the proper manner. It was a question of power and money. In a meeting with SASCOC where Mr Chuene had argued the issue of transformation, the Chairperson had been vilified for remarking that SASCOC was being run by “whites and Indians” who were not transformed. He had been following the pattern of deterioration in SASCOC. He was still committed to this viewpoint.

The Chairperson said that other people would be called. Arguments would be centred around the Caster Semenya issue. Members of the Committee would deliberate on the hearings. Some matters would be taken to Parliament and others would be referred to the Minister.

Submission by Ms Loretta Marthinus
Ms Loretta Marthinus had come to make a submission but had been delayed, and could not wait any longer as she had to get a flight back to Kimberley. She had left a written document for Members' attention. She could be called back to the Committee if Members needed to discuss any issues with her.

Budget Vote Report
The Chairperson asked Members to consider recommendations to the Committee's Budget Report.

Committee Secretary read the recommendations received from Members.

Mr Dikgacwi pointed out that the contract with LoveLife had lapsed. This would be a good excuse to discontinue funding to LoveLife.

Mr Phori listed the recommendations:
The Director General of SRSA should table quarterly progress reports on recipients of the DORA grant with dedicated personnel. Better data compilation was needed from the provinces regarding service delivery. SRSA should provide a comprehensive report on LoveLife. The standard of school sports in public schools should be increased. The Committee expressed serious concerns over the budget decrease in funding for school sport. SRSA should assist municipalities in improving critical skill shortages through sports tourism programmes. All sports facilities should comply with norms and standards set by the Ministry of Sport and Recreation. The school sports facilities proposed by ATKA (Pty) Ltd should be deferred to SRSA in consultation with the Department of Public Works. SRSA should find the mechanism to coordinate mass participation programmes with Sports Councils, school governing bodies and the South African Rugby Union. Allocations should be increased for High Performance sport to assist South African athletes to perform better. The resolutions of the Sports Indaba should be integrated into SRSA’s objectives. All vacant posts should be filled. The baseline allocation for sport should be increased. There was a strong recommendation that a levy of R1 should be imposed on all ticket sales for sports events to finance a development fund.

The Chairperson noted a suggestion that a recommendation should be made that the NLDT should be restructured. The recommendation on LoveLife should be expanded to indicate the recommendation that the Kaiser Foundation contract should not be renewed.

Members approved the budget report. The budget debate would be held on 13 April. The SASCOC hearings would be suspended until the budget was finalised so that Members could concentrate on the budget debate.

The meeting was adjourned.


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