Sascoc must implement changes fast‚ says sports minister Nathi Mthethwa

Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called for urgent change at Sascoc.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called for urgent change at Sascoc.
Image: Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu

The government wants change at the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) - and they want it fast.

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa met Sascoc board members on Monday and afterwards told a press conference that he wanted them to implement the recommendations by the Zulman inquiry from 2017.

A compliance team had recommended holding “processes earlier than normal”‚ suchas elections. Board elections‚ under Sascoc’s current constitution‚ would be held after the Olympics next year - but now they’re looking at holding them early next year.

Mthethwa also wants sports federations informed about the compliance team’s recommendations at the AGM on November 23.

“Something has to happen and happen quickly; otherwise it’s going to be difficult to strengthen the relationship, based on the very unhealthy and unhygienic situation‚” he said.

Mthethwa was referring to issues raised by Zulman and his panel‚ which was critical of Sascoc leadership and the way it conducted its business.

“Changes have to be seen. Faces have to change‚ first and foremost. You recall that the Zulman commission raises the issue of governance and individuals in some of the instances.”

Sascoc vice-president Barry Hendricks said the board was in agreement with the minister and pointed out that none of the proposed changes were in conflict with the Olympic Charter. Some recommendations‚ however‚ would require constitutional changes.

He said they were looking at the possibility of early elections, as well as incorporating two independent directors onto the board.

“It is clear from our side that change must happen and change must happen quickly‚” said Hendricks.

With its Lotto funding slashed to less than 5% of what it used to be‚ Sascoc is under huge financial pressure ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next year.​