DA calls for probe into Netball SA lifting suspension of sex pest

Issued by Veronica van Dyk MP – DA Deputy Shadow Minister for Sports, Arts and Culture
19 Apr 2021 in News

The DA is calling for an urgent and in-depth investigation into revelations that not only was a sex pest’s suspension lifted by Netball SA, but he was allowed to coach minors after allegations of sexual improprieties with a minor. This warrants not only the coach’s suspension from Netball SA, but also a criminal investigation into his alleged sexual abuses.

The Sunday Times reports that not only did Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane know about the alleged abuses, but defended them during discussions about the coach’s reinstatement with one official recalling “Molokwane alluded to the fact that it is a cultural thing for black men to do what they want with women as long as there’s payment”.

Molokwane also ignored a legal opinion which stated that this coach should never again be allowed to work with minors and apparently failed to report allegations of the sexual abuse of a minor to the SAPS as required by the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32.

Molokwane should therefore be criminally investigated. The DA also calls for the immediate dismissal of Molokwane, who is currently on suspension for non-payment of membership fees, and that she is banned from the boards of all sports federations in South Africa.

When the DA tried to interrogate allegations of sexual abuse at Netball SA through written parliamentary questions, the answers received from the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, included:

  • “The Federation has indicated that it requires more time to retrieve the information due to the lockdown.”
  • “These are matters of conduct of the members of the federations which invariably make them administrative in nature. Therefore, fall within the ambit of the Federation to deal with.”
  • “Efforts to get the responses from Netball SA regarding the said Parliamentary Question has been unsuccessful. The Department continues to follow up with Netball SA.”

The Minister did indicate that he had written to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) after Netball SA failed to respond even to him. But yet again players and victims of the coach’s abuse were let down. No subsequent responses have been forthcoming from Netball SA, SASCOC, or the Minister.

Instead of making earnest when the DA raised serious concerns regarding allegations of abuse at Netball SA and launching an investigation, the Minister sat on his hands and opened the gates to more possible sexual abuses by this coach. Minister Mthethwa is as guilty of failing the players as Molokwane.

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