Aleck Skhosana is one of four candidates to have won cases permitting them to stand in the election ©Athletics South Africa

Acting South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) President Aleck Skhosana is one of four officials to have been cleared to stand for the role on a full-time basis, after winning a case against the organisation.

Athletics South Africa President Skhosana, Netball South Africa President Cecilia Molokwane‚ Free State Rugby President Jerry Segwaba and Northern Cape Sports Confederation head Farrell Moses had all lodged appeals after being deemed ineligible to stand for the election.

Barry Hendricks was suspended as Acting President of SASCOC earlier this month following allegations he had blocked rivals from standing.

Hendricks has since claimed his suspension is unconstitutional and said the SASCOC Board should resign.

Skhosana was elevated from his position as SASCOC vice-president into the Acting President role, with the official now one of four to win cases against the organisation.

"In a ruling released today, the arbitrator Nazeer Cassim SC released his findings in which he ruled that Skhosana's nomination was valid and he is eligible to contest for a position as a Board member of SASCOC for the next Olympic four-year cycle," Athletics South Africa said.

"Cassim based his ruling in particular on clause 12.2 read together with clause 12.12 of SASCOC's constitution.

"Farrell Moses, Cecilia Molokwane and Jerry Segwaba, who had also challenged the decision of SASCOC's Independent Nominations Committee which had ruled their nominations as ineligible, were also ruled as qualifying and eligible to stand same for the election.

"The Independent Nominations Committee was made of Xoliswa Sibeko, Advocate Jason Mitchel and Samkelo Radebe."

Athletics South Africa highlighted that the decision was their second successful arbitration award against SASCOC, pointing out that Skhosana had been expelled from the SASCOC Board in 2017 before being reinstated after the decision was challenged.

The organisation has expressed hope that the conclusion of the disputes over eligibility could lead to stability within SASCOC prior to the election.

A call was also made by the athletics body for federations to support the SASCOC Board, amid Hendricks' claim that they should be forced to stand down.

The arbitration decision sees the field of SASCOC Presidential candidates swell, with Skhosana, Segwaba, Morris and Molokwane joining Hendricks, Alan Fritz, Kaya Majeke and Winston Meyer as candidates.

It is unclear when the election will take place with coronavirus forcing the postponement of the SASCOC Annual General Meeting.

Former SASCOC President Gideon Sam stood down in 2019 after reaching the age limit of 70, sparking the election.

The race to succeed Sam has quickly become embroiled in disputes, amid allegations made over the blocking of the candidates.

Tennis South Africa announced they would begin a review into the conduct of President Gavin Crookes and Board member Muditambi Ravele.

Ravele had alleged her candidacy for the SASCOC Presidency had been blocked by Crookes and Hendricks.

The disputes at the troubled organisation have attracted further scrutiny from the South African Government, which is keen to see SASCOC implement changes recommended by a Ministerial Government report in 2018.

The report had claimed SASOC was "factional and dysfunctional, fails to meet governance compliance standards and wastes money".

It warned that factionalism had rendered the SASCOC Board dysfunctional, corporate governance and compliance controls were absent, finances had been wasted on litigation among employees and leaders, and senior executives had received excessive travel benefits while travelling to international sporting events.

The inquiry was commissioned after Sam, former chief executive Tubby Reddy and other senior members of the SASCOC leadership were accused of a range of indiscretions, from mismanagement of funds to ignoring administrative processes.

South African Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa, right, remains unconvinced SASCOC can resolve its internal disputes ©Getty Images
South African Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa, right, remains unconvinced SASCOC can resolve its internal disputes ©Getty Images

South Africa's Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa, responding to a statement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC), said the Government remains unconvinced SASCOC can resolve its internal problems.

"Minister Nathi Mthethwa has respectfully noted the contents of the joint statement from the IOC and IPC, which calls for SASCOC to be allowed space to resolve their problems by themselves," a statement read.

"We wish to reiterate that as Government we remain unconvinced that SASCOC has demonstrated the necessary will to deal decisively with their internal problems, particularly those relating to governance, as spelt out in the Ministerial Inquiry Report.

"The approach to SASCOC's international mother bodies was not only in response to the two elections-related disputes, faced by SASCOC, but also relates to a two-year long process of ensuring that the recommendations of the Ministerial Inquiry into the affairs of SASCOC are implemented.

"Through a task team appointed for this purpose, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, has been assisting SASCOC with the implementation of the recommendations, in the hope that the process would be concluded by the end of last month.

"In terms of progress made to date, agreement has been reached on addressing 26 of the 42 sub-recommendations, meaning that work still has to be done on the remaining 16.

"Whilst a few of the 16 might be addressed by the elective conference, others will require financial resources that SASCOC does not have.

"This is one of the reasons that the election of a new leadership is urgent.

"The appeal to the IOC and IPC was therefore aimed at enlisting the help of the sports movement to address sports problems to avoid the perception that Government was being heavy-handed through alternative ways of bringing back stability to SASCOC, in the interests of the struggling athletes.

"Whilst we await what further developments arise, we remain committed to the restoration of stability, within SASCOC."