Our bureaucrats are not the only people subjected to power grabs and interference in their jobs. It seems South African athletes are subjected to similar attacks. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), a body designated by the Minister of Sports and Recreation as mandated by the National Sports and Recreation Act No.110 of 1998 to act as an umbrella body for multiple sport activities, such as the Olympics and Commonwealth games, is trying to assume overriding authority over SA’s sports federations.
The act does not state that the body allotted that task (currently Sascoc) has the right to interfere in or with the various national sports federations, either in their leadership, management or selection processes, yet this is exactly what Sascoc seem to be attempting with Athletics SA (ASA) by inserting Sascoc choices into ASA (at least one of which apparently resulted in financial mismanagement at ASA).
This is apparently a similar pattern of interference experienced by other national sports federations. In terms of the new companies act, to which both Sascoc and ASA are subject, you cannot have control of one non profit company vested in another and this seems to be what Sascoc is attempting to achieve. ASA would not play ball and Sascoc suspended ASA from Sascoc. (do Sascoc even have the right to do that?). Sascoc also seem to be usurping the reporting channels of national sports federations to Parliament by inserting themselves into that line of authority and accountability. This doesn’t look good for Parliament or South African sports or SA sports federations.
The practical effect for South African athletes is they no longer have representation at the IOC or the Commonwealth Games and are no longer recipients of any funding that is normally channeled through Sascoc. A ray of light is that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) recognise ASA and not Sascoc as the controlling body of athletics in SA and continue normal relations with ASA and athletic events under IAAF auspices continue.
A Direct Democracy Forum administration will ensure that power grabs by Sascoc will cease and the authority, accountability and responsibility of national sports federations to their members and Parliament will be reinstated and reinforced. Sascoc will have to limit their activities to that of mediator and coordinator of multiple sports activities, as envisaged by the act. Then our national sports federations can get on with doing what they do best – seeing that our sports men and sports women continue winning on international playing fields and bring honour to our country.
The buck stops at the ballot box.