Barry Hendricks (centre). Picture: GALLO IMAGES/WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN
Barry Hendricks (centre). Picture: GALLO IMAGES/WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) board has instructed its members not to support suspended acting president Barry Hendricks.

The board placed Hendricks on a leave of absence pending the outcome of two investigations — an arbitration process and a probe by Sascoc’s own judicial body.

Hendricks was found to have acted unethically in a legal opinion by an advocate in comments to Tennis SA president Gavin Crookes about Tennis SA board members Ntambi Ravele and Riad Davids in February.

The Sascoc board was reacting to Hendricks’s latest e-mail to Sascoc members — the federations and bodies comprising the umbrella body — in which he rejects his suspension and accuses the board and acting CEO of lying to the Sascoc membership over elements of the process.

Hendricks referred to statements the board had made and explained why he believed each was dishonest.

He had a few days earlier also claimed the board was not properly constituted and said it should be dissolved.

The board denied his claims without going into details in a statement on Saturday.

“The board is fully satisfied that it has acted legally‚ responsibly and reasonably and has not been swayed by emotion‚ outside influence or ulterior motives in taking the decision to relieve the acting president of his duties until the investigation is finalised,” the statement reads.

Investigations completed

“The continuing attack by Mr Hendricks on the current board is both unprecedented and unwarranted as this is the same board he was quite happy to lead until his leave of absence.”

The board said it will not recognise Hendricks as the acting president‚ at least until the investigations are completed.

The board‚ which recognises Aleck Skhosana as the new acting president‚ warned Sascoc members not to support Hendricks.

“The board and members of Sascoc are not to communicate‚ support or assist him [Hendricks] in any manner whatsoever and must not confer with him on any issue connected to the work of the organisation.”

The Sascoc membership possesses the power to call for a special general meeting to disband the board.

“The decision to impose the leave of absence is therefore based on findings by the independent advocate that Mr Hendricks’s conduct can be seen as interfering in the nominations process of the elections that had initially been scheduled for March 28‚” the Sascoc board said.

“Such conduct brings both Sascoc and the nominations and electoral process into disrepute.”

At the centre of the issue is the claim that Hendricks’s comments to Crookes — that he didn’t believe Ravele and Davids stood a chance in the Sascoc elections — was deemed to be interference.

Crookes had disclosed the conversation to his board before they decided not to support Ravele’s bid for the Sascoc presidency. They did back Davids’s desire to stand in the election as an ordinary board member.

Davids‚ the vice-president of the federation‚ is an elected Tennis SA board member while Ravele is there as the head of wheelchair tennis.

The Sascoc board had also directed Tennis SA to consider the advocate’s findings against Crookes “and to consider appropriate steps against him”‚ a Sascoc board member said.

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