Immediate action required to address Netball SA concerns

Issued by Veronica van Dyk MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture
20 Jun 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached Afrikaans and  English soundbite by Veronica van Dyk MP.

The DA expresses deep concern over the troubling revelations brought to light in a documentary released by Afri-forum, which sheds light on critical issues within Netball SA and its president, Cecilia Molekwane.

It is imperative for us to address pressing matters in sports, such as alleged sexual abuse, financial mismanagement, administrative dysfunction, and the abuse of power. These issues have unfortunately plagued Netball SA under Cecilia Molekwane’s leadership. SASCOC, federations, sponsors, and all stakeholders committed to fostering sports integrity must take a proactive stance against not only interference in selection processes and race quotas but also corruption whenever it arises.

Political interference has no place in any sport. The misuse of political power and personal gain, as well as the enforcement of racial quotas, only serve to disadvantage communities and hinder grassroots sports development. Unless we address the concerns raised in the documentary, as acknowledged by the DA, Netball in South Africa risks losing its integrity as a sport.

Members of the Portfolio Committee of Sport, Arts, and Culture have firsthand experience of Ms Molekwane’s conduct.

The manner of her communication, lack of comprehensive presentations, especially in relation to financial statements, and poor responses to written questions, contribute to the dysfunction within sporting bodies.

The DA has consistently reported the concerns regarding Netball SA’s president to the portfolio committee of sport, arts, and culture, SASCOC, and even reached out to World Netball regarding the decisions made by Ms Molekwane that led to Annie Klopper’s international accreditation being revoked. The DA has also collaborated with former Exco members and registered members, providing support to abused victims through cooperation with the Jasriel-Foundation for abused athletes. It is essential to revisit Christine du Preez’s report, former Vice President of NSA, and take appropriate action.

We call on the president of Netball SA to fully account to the Portfolio Committee. The DA will also be writing to the Minister, urgently requesting a thorough investigation into the inadequate response of the Netball SA president towards the concerns raised in the documentary. It is imperative that all relevant stakeholders are involved in the resolution of these issues. No one should be exempt from accountability.

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