South Africa

Sam Ramsamy is the IOC's man to solve Sascoc's election deadlock

DURBAN: Veteran sports administrator Sam Ramsamy has been asked by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to work closely and ensure the smooth running of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC) elections.

The 82-year-old Ramasamy’s appointment has also been endorsed by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and by Sports Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa.

While the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus was one of the key reasons Sascoc’s March 28 elections was stalled, boardroom controversies were also major contributing factors.

One of the well documented issues were the four candidates who were previously ruled out from participating in the elections, but they successfully appealed their disqualification in April.

Barry Hendricks, who was Sascoc’s acting president at the time, was accused by one member of allegedly stifling her candidacy.

Sascoc placed Hendricks on leave of absence, also in April.

About his overseeing role, Ramsamy said: “My task is to discuss issues with Sascoc’s board and its membership to effect a satisfactory and fruitful conclusion.”

The IOC’s decision to deploy Ramsamy was confirmed in a letter he received from, Thomas Bach, the organisation’s president.

“The IOC has been following the situation of Sascoc very closely over the past few months.

“In view of the ongoing situation, and in order to provide further assistance to Sascoc, the IOC has decided, with the support of the IPC, to appoint you (Ramsamy) to work closely with Sascoc and to supervise and facilitate the process leading to the elections.”

Bach said Ramsamy was appointed so that the elections could be conducted in the near future, “smoothly, in close consultation and cooperation with all the parties concerned, in particular, member federations and the country’s sports authorities'.

He believed Ramsamy was the right man for the task as he was a “highly respected personality”, with great experience worldwide in the Olympic movement, and having played similar oversight roles in similar situations.

Bach singled out Ramsamy’s role in the successful staging of the Kenya’s National Olympic Committee’s Elective General Assembly in 2017.

Mthethwa said his ministry welcomed the news of Ramsamy’s appointment after previously approaching the IOC and IPC for assistance over the Sascoc saga.

“On our side, we stand ready to cooperate with the appointed facilitator (Ramsamy) and wish him well on this important assignment,” said Mthethwa.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE

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