The IOC has called on SASCOC members to support the upcoming election ©SASCOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has called on the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to hold its long-awaited elections, suggesting further measures could be taken if delays continue.

SASCOC had initially been due to hold its Presidential election on March 28, before the Annual General Meeting was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The process has since been subject to a series of disputes, including a claim that Acting President Barry Hendricks had blocked the candidacy of rivals prior to the election.

Hendricks denied the allegation but was placed on "special leave" in April amid an investigation.

A virtual Special General Meeting (SGM) was held last month, which saw disciplinary action ended against Hendricks, enabling him to stand in the election.

According to TimesLive, SASCOC Board members Aleck Skhosana, Kobus Marais, Cecilia Molokwane, Jerry Segwaba and Kaya Majeke have opted to take legal action against the General Assembly.

The officials reportedly claim the motion to end disciplinary proceedings against Hendricks had not been on the agenda of the meeting.

They claim the motion was included on an "unauthorised agenda" provided by Sam Ramsamy, who the IOC appointed to oversee the election process.

The IOC wrote to SASCOC calling for members to support the upcoming elections, scheduled to take place on November 7, and expressed concern at the latest developments.

"We sincerely hope that everyone will support the elections and that any action aimed at disrupting it will be withdrawn without any further delay, failing which the IOC and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will reserve the right to take further measures," a letter from the IOC read, according to TimesLive.

"We are concerned by the latest developments and legal dispute recently initiated by a few members of the SASCOC Board against the members of the SASCOC General Assembly.

"As you all know, the IOC and IPC appointed Dr Sam Ramsamy as an IOC facilitator with the support of the IPC.

"We have left no stone unturned over the past few months to assist SASCOC in good faith in addressing and resolving its internal disputes amicably and conducting a free and fair election.”

The IOC has defended its appointment of Sam Ramsamy ©Getty Images
The IOC has defended its appointment of Sam Ramsamy ©Getty Images

Athletics South Africa chief Skhosana, who briefly served as Acting SASCOC President during Hendricks special leave, has reportedly hit back at the IOC.

Skhosana has alleged the IOC had "overridden" the SASCOC Board, while criticising the appointment of Ramsamy.

South Africa’s Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture has expressed concern over the latest disputes.

Committee Chairperson Beauty Dlulane said it has raised concern over SASCOC’s preparations for its annual general meeting (AGM) and the arbitration process concerning Hendricks.

Dlulane questioned how the meeting was going to run smoothly when there were already "signs of distrust to the IOC facilitator, Mr Sam Ramsamy, with some board members accusing him of favouritism and discriminating against some associations and sporting codes?"

"We are very worried how SASCOC is going to monitor the AGM if the highest official of the IOL who is going to look after the elections is not trusted by some members and associations," a statement from Dlulane read.

"We want a speedy recovery of SASCOC to ensure the smooth preparations for Tokyo 2021, and so that other member associations like Cricket SA can also be assisted to get their house in order."