Thulas Nxesi. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Thulas Nxesi. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Sport and Recreation Minister Thembelani "Thulas" Nxesi says commissions of inquiry into maladministration at Sascoc and into the deaths of two soccer fans at a preseason match at FNB Stadium are set to proceed despite initial delays.

The two ministerial commissions of inquiry into safety and security at football matches‚ as overseen by the Premier Soccer League‚ and into issues of poor governance at Sascoc (the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) were due to start this month.

A press release from the Department of Sport and Recreation this week said pre-public hearings would be held from February 5, while formal public hearings would begin a week later, on February 12.

Nxesi said the delays were due to "administrative hiccups" and the holiday break, but that initial preparations had already begun. "Some people have made submissions‚ and that’s the brief which they have given me."

Nxesi said Judge Ronald Pillay was running the inquiry on safety, while Judge Ralph Zulman was in charge of the Sascoc inquiry. The judges had received submissions, briefed him and would soon begin hearing evidence, he said.

"I want to appeal for anyone who has anything to say to come forward and speak before the commissions," said the minister.

Sascoc had threatened to interdict the minister’s inquiry into the body, but Nxesi said the process would continue.

"Thus far, we have not been interdicted‚" he said.

"They have sought clarity from us‚ and we have been able to give that‚ and we are acting in terms of the Sports and Recreation Act of SA‚ where I have a mandate on oversight on all the sports federations," the minister said.