Graeme Joffe: Have Guptas also “captured” SA sport? Certainly looks like it. | Fin24

Graeme Joffe: Have Guptas also “captured” SA sport? Certainly looks like it.

Mar 30 2016 11:29

Ruling African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)Once a dyke ruptures, long submerged nasties pour out in the flood.

Equally in the real world when hidden truths are liberated. The ANC’s formal investigation into the Gupta family is a case in point. The Guptas have never disguised their close links with the family of SA President Jacob Zuma.

A fact they say bears no relationship with their ability to accumulate massive wealth since arriving from the dusty Indian town of Saharanpur in 1994 with a modest R1.3m in their bank account. As the momentum grows, their “associates” are rushing to beat the crush inside ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe’s office, which has urged them to come forward.

In the meantime, everyone with publicly exposed business links with the Guptas is now being closely scrutinised. Among those doing the digging is investigative sports journalist Graeme Joffe, whose reports exposing corruption made life so hot he was forced to flee his homeland.

In this excellent analysis, Joffe turns over some long forgotten stones. And asks whether it’s not just state-owned enterprises the Guptas have “captured”. – Alec Hogg 

By Graeme Joffe*

Cast your mind back to the 2012 Ram Slam T20 Challenge.

There was a new franchise called the New Age Impi. They won two of their ten games but almost every one of their games was televised on SuperSport. I recall a top of the table clash that season which wasn’t televised but instead, we got to see the Impi.   

The same year, there was the New Age Friendship T20 Cup between South Africa v India.

“New Age managing editor Gary Naidoo did not anticipate being compromised by the fact that he is also an independent member of the Cricket South Africa board.”

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Just how much was invested with the New Age sponsorship, where did it go and where did the money come from?

SA sport is littered with questions of corruption and there are a number of officials who are simply untouchable.

Could this be the reason?


I doubt we’d ever get a straight answer from Mbalula as he was either “hacked” or it’s “satire”.

One thing we know for sure is that there is a very cosy relationship between Mbalula, SuperSport, SASCOC and Sam Ramsamy.

It would be much cosier with the Guptas on speed dial, wouldn’t it?

Another one of the untouchables in SA sport is Dr Harold Adams who wears a number of hats and has now been appointed to head up the IAAF commission of anti-doping and medical.


I thought the IAAF was looking to clean up their image. Did they not do any background checks?

This was an expose I did on Adams a couple years ago.

Meanwhile, the whole Karate SA story is almost unbelievable.

It is a clear example of a corrupt board member with the support of the president and the board, breaking all of SASCOCs constitution’s dispute resolution procedures and rules of engagement to destroy a national sports organisation for personal gain.

This is an extract of a letter from the president of the Union of African Karate Federations (UFAK) to Sam Ramsamy on 27 February 2016.

On December 2015 KSA settled its arbitration matter against SASCOC which was obliged to rehabilitate them as from Aug 2015.

Mr. Mubarak very strangely via a number of regular telephone calls begged us to terminate KSA’s membership of UFAK.

I found this strange as we in UFAK could not understand how a senior board member of SASCOC, the governing body for sport in your country, could persist in encouraging us UFAK to terminate the membership of one of your bona fide affiliates viz KSA. Nevertheless we did terminate KSA‘s membership of UFAK given Mr. Mubarak’s insistence together with reasons mentioned in point No. 5.

Mr. Mubarak expressed his delight upon receiving the news of KSA’s termination and informed my personal assistant Mr. Arab Yacine that Mr. Ramsamy, Mr. Sam Gideon and Mr Tubby Reddy are congratulating UFAK for this decision.

With the strong willing once again of Mubarak, a new group is formed and called SAKF led by Mr. Peter Brandon pending new elections. Mr. Mubarak wanted strongly to be a leading senior member of this group, this was denied by my assistant Mr. Arab Yacine and Mr. Peter Brandon since Mubarak was under an interdict by the high court.

On the manner in which Mr. Mubarak Mohamed handled matters during this very challenging time, it clearly showed UFAK he was working in his own interest and certainly not in the interest of karate. He further through one of his regular phone calls promised to my assistant Yacine Arab an unexpected reprisal , with a strong shocking statement that “SASCOC will not recognize SAKF (new group) and will continue to recognize KSA “.

I was shocked by Mr. Mubarak’s change of heart given that it was he who coerced us into terminating KSA membership and then suddenly he is the first to engineer the demise of SAKF an organ that he proposed and fully supported. Moreover he strongly indicated to both Peter Brandon and my assistant that he wished to serve on the board of SAKF as a senior member!

Ramsamy and SASCOC have been silent on the matter.

SASCOC president, Gideon Sam has also been very quiet on the controversial launch of a 2022 Commonwealth Games legacy project by a company his daughter is involved in. The Mail & Guardian story also makes mention of TNA media (Guptas) involvement in last year’s expose.

The launch company is back on the radar after questions popped up in parliament recently asking:

Who are the directors of Nation of Champions, what is the estimated budget they will receive from SASCOC and Department of Sport and Recreation and was there a tender?

I wouldn’t hold my breath for factual answers.

SASCOC elections are also just around corner, although there was an attempt to postpone them until next year.

That’s how they roll.

Just when will these officials become answerable to anyone?

How much other influence do the Guptas have in SA sport?

I wish I could get to the 6th floor of Luthuli House but I think the ANC Secretary General has enough on his plate.

Graeme Joffe is a former CNN International and 94.7 sportscaster who investigates corruption in South African sport. He fled his homeland after being warned that his life was in danger.

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