Sas­coc boss de­nies al­le­ga­tions made against him at in­quiry

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - SPORT - NEVILLE KHOZA

PRE­DICTABLY, South African Sports Con­fed­er­a­tion and Olympic Com­mit­tee (Sas­coc) pres­i­dent Gideon Sam’s first or­der of busi­ness in his ap­pear­ance be­fore the Zul­man com­mis­sion of in­quiry yes­ter­day in­volved him dis­put­ing the al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against him by ear­lier wit­nesses.

The Sas­coc boss set about dis­agree­ing with what the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s for­mer CEO Tubby Reddy said last week, par­tic­u­larly with re­gards to mat­ters of fi­nance and de­ci­sion­mak­ing.

Sam dis­puted Tubby’s as­ser­tion that the de­ci­sion to in­crease the daily al­lowance for all 14 board mem­bers trav­el­ling over­seas – in­clud­ing to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games two years ago – was de­cided solely by him.

Sam said the de­ci­sion was taken fol­low­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion “by the board and Reddy”.

This con­tra­dicted what Reddy said last week when he said Sam was the only of­fi­cial be­hind the daily al­lowance be­ing in­creased.

Sam, who de­fended the in­cre­ment on ba­sis of the dol­lar to rand ex­change rate, said every de­ci­sion he makes at the as­so­ci­a­tion is backed by the sports gov­ern­ing body’s board.

Sam said the board mem­bers ap­proached him in Rio, com­plain­ing about the al­lowances be­ing too lit­tle, fol­lowed by Reddy, who “per­suaded” him to in­crease the money to $300 a day.

“They (board) were all there. I in­creased the money on the in­sis­tence of the board.

“They called me from the ho­tel and said they couldn’t live or sur­vive on $200, tak­ing into ac­count the dis­tances which they had to travel and ex­pen­sive food.

“On the in­sis­tence of the CEO, a pro­posal was then made.”

Sam was also asked if he thought the new daily al­lowance was ex­ces­sive and he re­sponded by say­ing “it’s a lit­tle money” de­spite more than R2.2m be­ing paid in board al­lowances each year.

“The Sas­coc board must not re­ally go there (to Brazil) to suf­fer for the good of South African sport,” Sam said.

“If I com­pare the dol­lar and the rand, that’s small money.

“Re­mem­ber, they were not stay­ing where the Games were hap­pen­ing.

“They had to come from far in a taxi be­cause they were not get­ting free cars. When they went back, there was no food at the ho­tel, they had to go to a restau­rant and get food. I wouldn’t say that was ex­ces­sive.

“They stayed in a very scruffy ho­tel where some­times there was not even enough hot wa­ter.”

With the in­quiry ex­pected to de­liver its find­ings soon, Sam is chal­leng­ing all the ac­cu­sa­tions lev­elled against him, in­clud­ing the cir­cum­stances that led to Dur­ban los­ing the right to host the 2022 Com­mon­wealth Games.


HAV­ING HIS SAY: South African Sports Con­fed­er­a­tion and Olympic Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Gideon Sam.

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