Beijing Olympic Preparations: Athletics SA & SASCOC briefings; SASCOC 2006/7 Annual Report; South African Practical Shooting Association: Difficulties; Dispute between Athletics SA and SASCOC

Sports, Arts and Culture

06 May 2008
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

In his opening remarks, the Chairperson informed the Committee that the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee was not present even though the meeting was arranged for 10am. He also stated that a legal adviser was present to provide a legal opinion on the organisation's enquiry into comments made by Athletics South Africa in a previous meeting with the Committee. The Committee would also discuss a comment made to the Sunday Times by Mr Donald Lee, a Member of the Committee, which said that those that presented in the Committee meeting did not enjoy parliamentary privilege.

Athletics South Africa briefed the Committee on preparations for the Beijing Olympics. They informed Members that the preparations were on schedule and discussed training camps, assistance to athletes and funding constraints. The Committee questioned Athletics South Africa on funding and sponsorship, the lack of athletes that qualified for the Olympics, the lack of women in sport and the conflict between Athletics South Africa and the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee.

Members discussed the issue of statements made to the Sunday Times by Mr Donald Lee. The Chairperson informed Mr Lee that he could make such false statements. Mr Lee stated that the Committee was not there to interrogate him and explained that members of the public were only protected if they took an oath.

The Committee also discussed the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee’s enquiry in to statements made to the Committee in a previous meeting by Athletics South Africa. The President of SASCOC explained that the enquiry was made after reading the statements in what he thought was the official minutes of the meeting that put the organisation in to disrepute. The Chairperson clarified that the minutes of the meeting were not yet adopted by the Committee and therefore did not have any legal standing. There was some question whether, in order to be covered by parliamentary privilege, statements must be made by those who had taken an oath. The legal adviser confirmed that it was a criminal offense to punish people for statements made to the Committee in a meeting. The President of the organisation informed the Committee that he would reassess the issues but there were also statements made to the media by the President of Athletics South Africa that could not go unattended to. The issue of what had been said in the meeting could not be pursued but any statements made outside could be addressed.

The South African Practical Shooting Association briefed the Committee. They informed Members of the dispute between this organisation and the South African Shooting Sport Federation as well as funding constraints. The Chairperson concluded by saying that the Department of Sport and Recreation and the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee would look in to the matter.

The South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee presented their Annual Report and preparations for the Olympics. They explained where their funding would come from and the activities that they were involved in. Members were informed of their objectives for 2008/09 and challenges that were experienced in preparations for the Olympics. The two tier selection policy system was explained. Members based questions on the second tier selection process in hockey, as Hockey South Africa had informed the Committee that they were not sure if they were going to attend the Games. Members also wanted an explanation for the low qualification in boxing.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
The Chairperson informed the Committee that South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) was not present, but they had contacted the Committee Secretary to ask if they could shift their presentation time to 2pm. SASCOC had confirmed that they were coming and had sent the documents.

The Chairperson added that the ANC study group had requested that an advocate be present at the Committee meeting, as Members had to discuss an issue that concerned comments made to the media by Mr Donald Lee (DA) that concerned SASCOC and Athletics South Africa (ASA). He wanted clarification on the comments that were made concerning an enquiry made by SASCOC about statements made by ASA at a previous Committee meeting.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) proposed that Members wait for SASCOC to arrive before they start the meeting, as he wanted clarity on a few matters. He also wanted to discuss the comments that were made by Mr Lee about whether presenters were offered parliamentary privilege.

Ms W Makgate (ANC) seconded the proposal. 

The Chairperson stated that it was wrong for Members of the House to mislead the public. He said that the Speaker had said that the Committee could not assume that Mr Lee misled SASCOC, and that the Committee would have to ask Mr Lee for clarification. The Sunday Times reported that Mr Lee had said that no member of parliament enjoyed the privileges in terms of the Constitution and the rules of Parliament and even members who were invited to Parliament were not protected. The Chairperson stated that this was a gross, false misleading statement. If Mr Lee had indeed made this statement then Parliament had to take action, as the parliamentary institution and justice could not be undermined. There was no other body in the country that was above Parliament. He proposed that the Committee adjourn for ten minutes to discuss whether to proceed in the meantime with the ASA presentation.

After a brief adjournment, the Chairperson announced that the Committee would listen to ASA's briefing on the preparations for the Beijing Olympics.

Mr Dikgacwi disagreed with the fact that SASCOC changed the time for their meeting and that Members now had to wait for them.

The Chairperson said that the Committee Secretary would phone them to find out where they were.

Mr Dikgacwi stated that if SASCOC requested a 2pm meeting and it was not agreed to then the organisation had to be there at 10am.

Beijing Olympic Games preparation: Briefing by Athletics South Africa (ASA)
Mr Kakata Moponyane, Vice President: ASA, informed the Committee that preparation for the Beijing Olympics was on track and that the 16th CAA African Senior Championships in Ethiopia bore testimony to this. South Africa once again led the medal standings at the CAA Senior Championships with 22 medals - 12 gold, 2 silver and 8 bronzes.

The preparation for the Olympics would be led by Dr Ekkart Arbeit, a scientific Adviser contracted to ASA until the end of the year. Dr Arbeit and the ASA Elite Coaches Coordinating Committee would drive the ASA high performance strategy. Preparations started in 2004 and gained momentum when Dr Arbeit joined the ASA.

Athletes and their personal trainers converged every six weeks at training camps where their progress was assessed scientifically. Recommendations were then made to the coach. The local training camps were funded through the National Academy Programme, a Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) initiative. Athletes were also assisted with monthly allowances, competition opportunities, medical and scientific needs as well as personal needs.

So far, fifteen athletes had qualified for the Games, and the ASA was hopeful that more would qualify during the European season.

The ASA held five local training camps at the High Performance Centre (HPC) in Tshwane and one more was set to take place in June 2008. Two international camps should also take place in Germany and Beijing, although the Beijing training camp might not take place due to funding constraints.

Mr Moponyane informed the Committee that funding issues posed a challenge to the preparation and implementation of plans. The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) had yet to inform the ASA of funding allocations for 2008. Even though funding was a problem, the ASA was not prepared to sacrifice any of its preparations.    

The Chairperson stated that he was content with the Report and wanted to congratulate ASA on behalf of the Committee for holding a very successful conference with their new leadership. He said that the ASA would have the Committee’s support at all costs.

Mr Dikgacwi wanted clarification on the preparation f the team in China. He asked if someone was sent to Beijing on a fact-finding mission and if the team would have time to acclimatise to the environment, as he had read that the pollution in Beijing was quite high.

Mr Leonard Chuene, President: ASA, answered that they had asked SASCOC if they could do so but the request was turned down.

Mr S Masango (DA) asked for more information on the funding that the ASA would receive for the Olympics and asked if they were knew the costs that would be incurred.

Mr Moponyane again stated that funding was a challenge, as they were not sure if the ASA was going to receive funding from agencies. Because of these uncertainties, the ASA had drafted three or four different budget proposals. He wanted agencies to commit to funding over four years so the ASA could plan their budget accordingly.

Mr D Lee (DA) found it difficult to believe that the ASA had trouble finding sponsorship. He wondered if they had approached sponsors and why they were not receiving sponsorship.

Mr Chuene stated that the ASA had Nedbank and the Yellow Pages as sponsors. He added that it was difficult to acquire funding because the ASA would not compromise the process of transformation in athletics for money.

Dr Simon Dlamini, Board Member: ASA, added that the ASA was not getting the kind of support that they wanted. He stated that funding was in the hands of people who did not approve of transformation in athletics.  

Mr L Reid (ANC) noted that so far, only eleven people had qualified for the Olympics, and not one of them was a woman. He wanted to know what steps were going to be taken to ensure fair representation, specifically in regard to women.    

Mr Moponyane stated that the ASA had just come from games held in Ethiopia where two women had qualified for the Olympics. He was hopeful that more women would qualify.

Mr Reid reminded the Committee that there were women who had performed well in the Commonwealth Games and that those achievements were to be used as a stepping stone for the Olympics. He wondered why the athletes were not performing well now when they had performed so well at the Commonwealth games.

Mr Moponyane replied that many of the athletes had injuries, especially the women. He said that ASA was fully supportive of its athletes and hoped that they would still be able to qualify.

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) commented that the Committee and the ASA had to commit themselves to helping women in athletics.

Mr B Holomisa (UDM) proposed that the Committee commit itself to writing a letter to the Minister of Sport and Recreation to appeal for more funding for the ASA so that they could address the sponsoring issue.

Ms Xoliswa Sibeko, Director-General (DG) of the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA),  stated that development and transformation in athletics was critical. She thought that it was important for the Committee to ask ASA for a strategy on how to begin to ensure that there was an increase in the number of African youth in athletics.

Once ASA completed their work with the athletes, the team became SASCOC's responsibility. She stated that SASCOC had done their job by ensuring that there was a venue in China in which the team would camp before the Games. The area had been evaluated and deemed safe from pollution.

The DG also stated that funding was not an issue, as SASCOC would be given the money and was in charge of its distribution.   

Mr Holomisa stated that it was clear that the conflict between ASA and SASCOC was serious and that the Department was aware of it. He wondered what interventions the Department had used to resolve the conflict. It seemed as if Ms Sibeko was protecting SASCOC. It was incumbent upon the Department to ensure that SASCOC and ASA had a good working relationship.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) agreed that the Committee should write a letter as suggested to the Minister of Sport and Recreation. He asked ASA what the current state of affairs was in their relationship with SASCOC so that he could contextualise everything that was said in the meeting by ASA and the DG. Secondly, the Committee wanted to know if there was a future for SASCOC and whether there was a platform at which the ASA could raise issues that were of concern to the organisation.

Dr Dlamini stated that ASA was committed to transformation of athletics but they experienced challenges in accessing a platform where they could express their concerns. He noted that education in sport was needed so that more females participated. He said that ASA was a balanced representative in South Africa and that the organisation needed to be elevated to the level that other federations were on.

Ms Snowy Mathews, Cross Country Chairperson, ASA, stated that it was difficult for ASA to get a platform to speak in SASCOC and to express its concerns. The ASA had requested a meeting with SASCOC but they were refused. In her opinion, SASCOC was just a face shift from the National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA); there was no transformation.

Mr Godfrey Hammers, Board Member: ASA, stated that SASCOC’s mandate needed to be reconsidered, as the organisation was seen as a policing agent rather than a transformation agent.

Ms Lorraine Lane, Member, ASA, said that SASCOC was incapable of transforming and developing because their sports were elitist. There were not many students in South Africa who had the opportunity to train in archery, synchronised swimming and water polo. She believed that SASCOC was actually protecting these elitist sports. Even though SASCOC spoke of transformation, people were still not getting the opportunity to participate and train in these types of sport.

Mr Holomisa reminded Members that SASCOC was an ANC initiative and thought that the discussion about SASCOC should be held between Members of the Committee first.

Mr Frolick added that the Committee had to review issues around SASCOC. They would also have to review SASCOC’s role in sport.

SASCOC/ASA Enquiry: Discussion about Statements Made to the Sunday Times by Mr Donald Lee
The Chairperson addressed the issue of SASCOC’s enquiry in to ASA. The Chairperson informed Members that SASCOC had commenced an enquiry into discipline against ASA because of certain statements that were made to the Committee in a previous meeting. He reminded Members that the Sunday Times had reported that Mr Lee had informed them that it was not correct that any member of the public member speaking at a meeting of the Portfolio Committee was protected by parliamentary privilege. He wanted to get the law adviser’s opinion, as he wanted a clear indication of what the law said about the matter.

Mr Lee asked if the matter was on the Committee’s agenda.

The Chairperson informed him that it was.

Mr Lee stated that the Committee was not there to interrogate him.

The Chairperson replied that Mr Lee could not say certain things outside of the Committee that were not true, and not answer for his statements.

Mr Lee repeated that it was not the Committee’s duty to interrogate him. He said that the law stated that it was only when people took the Oath of Office that they were protected by Parliamentary privilege. He said that he would write a letter to the speaker to clarify the matter.

The Chairperson stated that Mr Lee could not say that people were not protected.

Mr J Louw (ANC) warned the Chairperson and Mr Lee not to get excited. He advised them to ask the legal adviser for an opinion and for clarification on the matter.

Mr Holomisa reminded Members that Mr Lee was a Member of the Committee and that legal advice should be sought. In his opinion, the matter was not to be discussed in front of the guests. He proposed that the Committee postpone the matter.

Mr Frolick stated that the matter was on the agenda and that Mr Lee was allowed to respond to the Committee. He added that the legal opinion related to the validity of the statements that Mr Lee made to the media.

At this point SASCOC were present at the meeting.

Discussion of issues with SASCOC around the scheduled time, and the ASA / SASCOC enquiry
The Chairperson stated that Members had asked him to raise an objection to the fact that the meeting was scheduled for 10:00 and that SASCOC was late. He noted that SASCOC could not decide on its own to change the time of the meeting. He asked for an explanation for the organisation’s tardiness.

Mr Moss Mashishi, President: SASCOC, told Members that by the time he had received the letter stating that there was an important meeting with the Committee, he was already committed to another engagement. This engagement was an important board meeting that he had to attend. He tried phoning the Chairperson on many occasions but he could not get hold of him. He then phoned Mr Frolick to ask if it was possible to postpone the meeting to the afternoon and was told to submit this request in writing. The letter was sent to the Chairperson’s office on 21 April 2008 but SASCOC had not received any feedback on the request. Mr Mashishi tried to contact the Chairperson again but was unable to do so.

The Chairperson stated that the letter was received by the Committee Secretary.

The Committee Secretary, Mr L Phori, stated that he told SASCOC that he did not have the authority to change the meeting time and that the request must be communicated to the Chairperson. 

The Chairperson stated that he never received the letter so he could have changed the time of the meeting. He said that the Committee Secretary was aware that he would not have changed the time of the meeting. The meeting time was not postponed formally, and therefore SASCOC should have been present at 10:00.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee wanted clarification from SASCOC on its enquiry in to statements made by the President of the ASA, Mr Leonard Chuene.

Mr Mashishi stated that SASCOC had constituted an enquiry into statements made by Mr Chuene to the media, that allegedly placed the organisation in disrepute. The enquiry would look at whether Mr Chuene’s behaviour constituted misconduct and what the appropriate action would be if it was found to constitute misconduct. He said that a presentation was made to the Committee by ASA on 13 November 2007. When SASCOC inspected the official record of the meeting from the Chairperson’s office, it had discovered that ASA had made a number of statements to the Committee attacking SASCOC and misrepresenting the facts. ASA claimed that the executive board of SASCOC was untransformed and this hindered the progress of federations, that SASCOC did not give the ASA enough support, and that preparations for the Beijing Olympics were shocking. These statements were inaccurate and fundamentally misleading. SASCOC received a letter from Mr Komphela, the Committee Chairperson, stating that people making statements to the Committee during its meetings enjoyed parliamentary privilege. SASCOC then sought legal opinion on the matter and was told that this privilege extended to Members of Parliament and only those members of the public who presented in the forum under oath. In any case, even if the presenters had enjoyed Parliamentary Privilege, they should not mislead Parliament under the guise of privilege. Mr Chuene was very vocal and visible in the media and used every available public platform to make a number of serious allegations and statements about SASCOC that brought the organisation into disrepute. These issues could not remain unattended to.

Mr Chuene had also said to the media that SASCOC’s financial statements should be investigated. It was a serious issue when an organisation made such sweeping allegations about the soundness of other institutions’ finances. Mr Mashishi reminded the Committee that SASCOC provided the Committee with audited financial statements every year, and these were on record for discussion and adoption by this Committee. Not once had Mr Chuene inspected SASCOC’s books. Mr Chuene had never requested a meeting with SASCOC to discuss this issue. SASCOC was also accused of trying to influence the elections of members to the ASA. These allegations were unacceptable, as issues were to be raised and dealt with internally. A hearing would take place on 12 May 2008 to deal with this matter. 

The Chairperson summarized for Members that Mr Mashishi confirmed that the enquiry was started pursuant to the statements made by the ASA to this Portfolio Committee in a previous meeting. Mr Mashishi had based his arguments on documents that he sought from the Office of the Chairperson and SASCOC was now seeking legal opinion. He requested that Members be given copies of those documents. According to Mr Mashishi, the legal opinion was that statements made to the Committee were only protected if made under oath. Mr Mashishi was saying that ASA should not make statements that negatively affected SASCOC.

The Chairperson asked for the minutes used by Mr Mashishi, noting that he had not sanctioned release of the minutes from his office. 

Mr Mashishi conceded that he had received a letter from the Chairperson saying that the minutes on which SASCOC had relied were not the formal and official Committee Minutes. He had become aware of what was said after receiving a copy of the minutes from an independent Non Government Organisation (NGO). The Chairperson’s letter stated that he was to write requesting the formal minutes from the office of the Chair. He then acquired these minutes.

The Chairperson stated that he had not signed these minutes, and that they had not yet been adopted by the Committee, therefore did not have any formal standing. The official minutes could only be acquired from the Committee Secretary.

The Committee Secretary, Mr Phori, stated that he had not received any oral request, nor a letter requesting the minutes.

The Chairperson said that Mr Mashishi was to inform the Committee as to how he received the minutes.

Mr Mashishi answered that he had received a letter from the Chairperson that informed him where he could acquire the correct minutes. He instructed his office to follow the letter’s instructions. The SASCOC office wrote a letter to, and received the minutes from, the source that the Chairperson had recommended. He had understood that these were the correct minutes that came from the office of the Chair; but was not in a position to tell whether the minutes were sent in the correct manner.

The Chairperson clarified that Mr Mashishi had used Parliamentary Monitoring Group’s (PMG’s) minutes, which were not recognised by Parliament, and that he had told Mr Mashishi to acquire the correct minutes of the meeting. The Chairperson was unsure as to how Mr Mashishi acquired the minutes from the Office of the Chair, as the Committee Secretary could not have given SASCOC minutes that were not signed by the Chairperson and adopted by the Committee.

Ms Ntuli wondered if it was normal practice for SASCOC to request the minutes of all the meetings held with different sports bodies or if acquiring the minutes from the ASA was a special priority.

The Chairperson said that the letter that was sent to SASCOC stated that the only minutes that were recognised by Parliament were the ones that came from the Committee Secretaries. He said that SASCOC could have requested the adopted minutes. Also, he had urged SASCOC to meet with ASA to resolve the matter. He was very clear on the point which minutes were recognised, namely that they must be the minutes prepared for and adopted by the Committee. 

Mr Dikgacwi clarified that the minutes did not have any legal standing. He said that one of SASCOC’s tasks was to lead, but they had not requested a meeting with the ASA to allow Mr Chuene to explain why he had made those statements about SASCOC. This showed that SASCOC was not performing its primary task.

Mr Mashishi stated that SASCOC’s response, being to hold an enquiry into statements made to the Committee, was perfectly in line with the organisation’s constitutional mandate. He said that SASCOC did not usually receive all the reports from meetings held with different sports bodies, but had requested the minutes of the ASA meeting when the nature of the ASA’s attacks came to their attention. Also, with regard to the minutes of the meeting, he had instructed his office to follow the Chairperson’s advice on how to acquire the minutes. He was surprised to hear that these minutes were not official minutes.

The Chairperson reiterated to the Committee and Mr Mashishi that he had stated in the letter that Mr Mashishi was to acquire the adopted minutes.

Mr Mashishi stated that he was concerned now to find that the minutes he had were in fact not the official minutes. He would have to investigate how the minutes came into SASCOC’s possession.

Mr Dikgacwi informed SASCOC that there were also other federations that had raised issues that concerned SASCOC. He wondered why they had not accessed that information and why it had not been dealt with. He was curious to know why SASCOC followed up on comments made by ASA and not by the other federations.

Mr Holomisa suggested that the Committee meet with SASCOC to resolve the matter.

The Chairperson suggested that they look toward the Constitution to resolve the matter.

Advocate Refiloe Mathebathe, Parliamentary Legal Adviser,  informed the Committee that it was a criminal offence to assault, penalise or threaten people who made statements to the Committee.

Ms Ntuli clarified that SASCOC’s argument was based on PMG minutes, but that the Chairperson had informed SASCOC that it should only use minutes that were adopted by the Committee. The minutes were not adopted and therefore were not property of the entire Committee. Also, minutes were not meaningful if they were not adopted.

Mr Lee noted that Mr Mashishi had tried to acquire the correct information and that the enquiry was based not only on minutes, but also on statements made to the media. He also noted that Mr Chuene should have gone to SASCOC to discuss issues that they had with the organisation. He hoped that both organisations were still eager to see sport flourish.

Mr Frolick informed SASCOC that, on the basis of the discussion so far, he felt that if they were to proceed with the enquiry, they would “hit a brick wall”. He stated that SASCOC could not close the democratic space for which people had fought so hard. SASCOC would also have to look into allegations made by the Rugby Federation about the organisation.

The Chairperson stated that he was not going to see the parliamentary institution obliterated by the Committee’s own creation, SASCOC. He said that meetings would be held with both the ASA and SASCOC. The matter had to be dealt with properly or there would be unintended consequences.

Mr Chuene stated that he had written a letter to SASCOC requesting a meeting between the two organisations to discuss this matter, but his request was turned down. SASCOC had not even contacted the ASA to see if they confirmed or denied the statements made to the press. Mr Chuene further denied having said that SASCOC’s financial statements were to be investigated. He said that SASCOC was hostile towards him because he challenged SASCOC and said that the organisation was untransformed. He accused Mr Mashishi of trying to isolate him so that SASCOC could “destroy” him.

The Chairperson asked for evidence that showed that SASCOC was behind the destabilisation of Mr Chuene and ASA.

Mr Chuene stated that Dr Dlamini was approached and asked to stand against him.

Dr Dlamini stated that he was approached early in the year and was told that a number of people in SASCOC were very angry about Mr Chuene’s behaviour. He was told that he would be assisted in standing against Mr Chuene. He had answered that he had not met anybody who had as much knowledge of athletics as Mr Chuene did, and he did not have any ambition to take his position in ASA. Also, closer to the time of the ASA elections, he was contacted and asked to stand against Mr Chuene.  

The Chairperson stated that the Committee and Parliament was not just going to sit by quietly if Mr Mashishi charged people for statements that were made in Committee meetings. He informed SASCOC and ASA that they were to meet with the Committee to resolve matters. SASCOC was to cease the investigation, as it was a transgression of the law.

Mr Mashishi replied that it was not his intention to undermine the Constitution of the country and he appreciated the Advocate’s opinion. However, there were other issues that were raised in the media by the ASA that SASCOC would deal with. He would also review issues that were mentioned in the House in the context of privilege. He was aware of issues raised by other sports groups. SASCOC would deal with these issues once it had the information at its disposal. He stated that it was very important that SASCOC receive the official minutes from the office of the Chair. SASCOC had structured an enquiry with highly reputable and professional people who were independent and would provide SASCOC with their determination. He denied participating in efforts to interfere with the ASA elections. 

The Chairperson stated again that SASCOC could not continue with the enquiry into statements made in the meeting.

Mr Mashishi indicated that he had no intention to undermine the Constitution, but if members of the Association were guilty of misconduct then action would have to be taken.

The Chairperson informed Mr Mashishi that he could not enquire about statements made in the Committee meetings, whether or not the minutes were accurate. All matters that made reference to the House were to be considered as closed, as they were protecting the Constitutionality of the House. Mr Mashishi could continue with the enquiries of statements made outside the House. Any form of enquiry that made reference to the House was null and void. Any saga that emanated from a previous Committee meeting would end at this meeting. He reiterated that the matter of statements made during the Committee Meeting was closed but the Committee would hold separate discussions with the ASA and SASCOC. 

SA Practical Shooting Association and SA Sport Shooting Federation Issues: Briefing by the South African Practical Shooting Association (SAPSA)
Mr Adnaan Jacobs, Chairman for the South African Practical Shooting Association, addressed the Committee.  He informed Members that SAPSA was on its own platform and should be able to grow its own membership and increase its funds to open access to disadvantaged communities, as shooting was an expensive sport. Funding was needed to assist the organisation in transformation and for developing different levels of athleticism and high performance sports.

SAPSA was affiliated to the national body known as South African Sport Shooting Federation (SASSF). Previously, the head of SAPSA was suspended because of the affiliation with another organisation that did not meet with the approval of SASSF. This indicated that SASSF did not want to transform. In 2007, SAPSA paid its affiliation fees to SASSF twelve hours late and was suspended. Other organisations had paid their fees months later and were not suspended. This indicated that SASSF was unhappy that SAPSA was transforming the sport.

The Chairperson asked SASCOC to comment on the dispute between SAPSA and SASSF.

Mr Mashishi was reluctant to comment on the situation until he had the relevant information at hand.

A Member suggested that SAPSA engage the Department, the Office of the Minister and then SASCOC. The problem was still at an administrative level and did not yet need the attention of the Committee.

Ms Sibeko stated that SAPSA had requested a meeting with the Department and a meeting was held the day before. The Department then had the opportunity to engage with SAPSA and to understand the sport. She had not yet spoken to SASCOC about the issues. The DG informed the Committee that SAPSA was being denied membership by SASSF.

Shooting was usually associated with blood sports, however, at the meeting, SAPSA informed the Department that it was a high performance sport based on defence. SAPSA did not want to be part of the Olympics. They wanted to be recognised as an association without being affiliated to structures of the Olympics but they were being denied the opportunity.

Ms Sibeko stated that the Department and the Committee had to apply their minds before a decision could be taken about SAPSA.

The Chairperson stated that SASCOC and the Department would meet with SAPSA to deal with these matters. He urged Ms Sibeko and SASCOC to keep in mind that SAPSA wanted to attend a competition in Bali in October.   

Annual Report 2006/7: Briefing by the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)
Ms Hajera Kajee, First Vice President, SASCOC tabled and discussed the 2006/07 Annual Report. The Report was in compliance with the Companies Act, Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and SASCOC’s Policy and Procedures and Accounting Policies.

SASCOC’s income consisted of income generated by the organisation, sponsorship from ABSA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Development and Marketing Fund, Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), Grants, and the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF). Some of the operating expenses included audit fees, salaries, depreciation, insurance, legal fees, finance charges, property maintenance, office maintenance and finance charges. The surplus at 31 March 2007 amounted to R13 186 224, of which R2 793 678 came from funding.

Activities for 2007/08 included the SA Sports Awards, the Jack Cheetham Awards, the Olympic Day Run, the SA Sports Hall of Fame Induction and the All Africa Games. Team South Africa returned from the All Africa Games with 181 medals; 61 gold, 66 silver and 54 bronze. All provinces participated in the SA Games, which was a success.

SASCOC provided updates on National Federation’s disputes. Disputes with Chess South Africa and Triathlon South Africa were closed while disputes with Basketball South Africa, Volleyball South Africa and Handball South Africa were still to be resolved.

In terms of strategy, the objectives for 2008/09 were to consolidate the administrative capacity of SASCOC to deliver on its mandate, to mobilise funding, to finalise a Corporate Governance Charter for Sport and the National Academy and to prepare and deliver teams to multi code events. The organisation experienced challenges in the areas of preparation and delivery of teams, administration and transformation.

Ms Hajera Kajee discussed preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games. South Africa was expected to qualify for 21 of the 28 different events in the programme. These 21 events included aquatics, archery, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, judo, tennis, volleyball and wrestling. There were 151 athletes in total.

SASCOC used a two-tier selection policy system. Athletes were selected through the first tier, the world standard qualification and the second tier applied the principle of universality related to continental qualification. There had been two scheduled inspection visits to Beijing where the sports facilities and athletes’ villages were found to be of excellent quality. The team would be based in Korea and moved to the Daegu Village three days before the competition.

Athletes were supported through individual grants, scientific and medical testing, training camps, coaching expertise and equipment support. Aquatics was the most successful event, with 23 qualified athletes at an average cost of R275 000 per athlete, badminton had qualified four athletes at R500 000 per athlete, boxing qualified one athlete and rowing qualified five athletes, at a cost of R1.3 million per athlete.

Insofar as the Paralympic Games were concerned, there were twenty sports on the programme of which South Africa was expected to qualify for nine. Some of these events would include aquatics, cycling, rowing, tennis and wheelchair basketball. There were sixty athletes in total and selection would be based on world standard qualification and through the principle of universality related to continental qualification. Two inspection visits to Beijing were held and facilities, as well as the athlete’s village, were found to be of excellent quality. The team would be announced in June 2008.   

Mr Frolick wanted clarification on the second tier selection process in hockey and asked SASCOC how they determined that there were to be at least six black players in the hockey team.

Mr Mashishi answered that the two-tier system was based on world systems so qualification would be determined by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Any South African athlete who met the world standard in hockey would automatically be included in the team. However, the IOC realised that there was a gap between the developing and developed world and the second tier was developed to close this gap and allow developing countries to participate. In relation to the second tier selection policy, SASCOC decided to implement a transformation strategy so that the composition of teams reflected transformation. SASCOC interacted with the hockey federation and decided that there was to be a minimum of six black players in the team.

Mr Frolick stated that he had asked the question because the President of Hockey South Africa (HSA) had stated at a meeting that it was unsure if they were going to the Beijing Olympics. In another meeting with HAS, they said that 50% of their players could be black. He noted that six out of sixteen players was not 50%. He asked why SASCOC had asked for a minimum of six black players when they could have said eight. He proposed that the Committee investigate the matter further.

Mr Mashishi stated that they could have discussions with HSA again.

Mr Lee stated that it was a matter of representation and qualification.

Mr Mashishi answered that there was a balance in terms of achieving the objectives of transformation, and agreed that qualifying was important.

Mr Frolick read a letter from a parent who attended hockey trials in the Free State. The parent informed the Committee that the trial consisted of six teams, four of which consisted of white players only.        

The Chairperson stated that SASCOC was to look in to this matter.

Mr Lee informed SASCOC that ASA told the Committee that they had a problem with accessing funding, and therefore were not sure if they would be able to send a team to Beijing to prepare for the Games. He asked if the ASA had funding.

Ms Kajee answered that ASA would be going to Beijing with the team to prepare for the Games. It was SASCOC’s responsibility to fund the visit to Beijing.

The Chairperson stated that SASCOC was to have a better communication strategy with the different sport federations and the Department.

Mr Holomisa agreed that communication was to be improved. He suggested that when different sport federations presented to the Committee, a member from the Department and from SASCOC be present. 

The Chairperson asked why only one person had qualified for boxing.

Mr Mashishi stated that it was a challenge to retain players, as many South African boxers were qualifying as professionals very quickly and were attracted by the money in that industry.

Mr Frolick wanted to know how much money was spent on preparation for the Paralympic team.

Ms Kajee answered that the Paralympic team was fortunate, as they received sponsorship from the beginning. SASCOC would send Members a breakdown of the funding for the Paralympics.

The meeting was adjourned.


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