South Africa | Sascoc seeking 'clarity' on role it should play in status of national federations

Barry Hendricks

Barry Hendricks

Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) on Wednesday sought "clarity" from parliament on the role it should play in the awarding and stripping of the status and funding of national federations.

It is the next step in what is becoming an increasingly complex set of circumstances surrounding Cricket South Africa's (CSA) new Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI).

The new MoI - signed off by CSA's members' council and the interim board that was commissioned by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa to clean up the administrative affairs of the game - states that the new CSA board will comprise a majority independent directors and chaired by one of those independent directors. 

Sascoc, though, is not prepared to sign off on the new MoI and insists, through its president Barry Hendricks, that "any MoI must be sanctioned by Sascoc".

READ | Sascoc v Sports Minister beef could have ramifications far beyond cricket

At a portfolio committee meeting on Wednesday, Sascoc asked that a "focus study group" commissioned by parliament be tasked with delving deeper into the issue. 

"We requested for a focus study group on the matter of section 13. In other words, parliament has the authority to do a study or research into this particular matter and then advise us on our rules and responsibilities," Hendricks told Sport24

"The important thing is for us to get clarity and to understand what the roles and responsibilities are of the department, the minister, Sascoc and the federations."

Sascoc viewed Mthethwa's intervention into CSA as government interference, which is against the IOC's Olympic Charter. And they believe having a CSA board comprising majority independent directors goes against the ethos of sports autonomy.

Hendricks added that Sascoc was set to meet with CSA on Thursday in an effort to find common ground on the matter. 

"The mandate given to us was to go and sit down and have further dialogue to try and resolve this matter," he said. 

"Tomorrow night we will have a meeting with CSA and through the engagement today with the portfolio committee, I think we've reached that position where we need to meet with the minister as a matter of urgency.

"We believe that we can resolve this and that we can put a system together that ensures that there are independents on board while also adhering to the current Sascoc constitution."

CSA, meanwhile, is on record saying it will proceed with its new MoI regardless of Sascoc's position. CSA's annual general meeting, where the new majority independent board is set to take charge, has been scheduled for 12 June.

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