South Africa's basketball community

The Importance of Sport Governance

By on August 24, 2008 in News

A lot has been said to the players, administrators, officials and coaches about the “governance” of basketball yet concrete evidence and information is hardly available to support what’s been said by various BSA stakeholders. The South African basketball mandate doesn’t know how the hierarchy of sport and governance in South Africa and the world in general operates; including the running of various sports federations.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) promotes olympism throughout the world including upholding ethics in sport; especially Olympic sport. They have a book called the Olympic Charter that has set rules and guidelines for the organisation of the Olympic Games. In a nutshell; the Olympic movement provides guidelines to help federations function properly, including federations that run below the National Olympic Committees which every country has i.e. BSA (South Africa’s NOC being SASCOC).

Mybasketball has been trying to get a hold of South Africa’s Basketball Constitution as well as the members of the BSA Interim Committee to find out what they’re doing to improve the state of basketball in the country, but have hit a brick wall in some of our attempt of communicating with the various stakeholders.

According to the National Sport and Recreation Act, a federation cannot operate without a constitution since that gives members an opportunity to work in an elaborate system of communication, nothing direct, as this is how information gets lost. If no one has access to what the stakeholders are doing no one can be held responsible or accountable for any wrong doing, leaving these few questions still hang over our heads.

1. What is the Interim Committee doing about the state of basketball and how can we access reports to share with basketball lovers of South Africa?
2. Who elected the Interim Committee? Because according to the IOC Charter and the SRSA White Paper various clubs and regions in every province are supposed to elect the stakeholders.
3. Does BSA audit independently? As it is advisable to do so frequently and by different auditors so they can keep an eye on each other incase there’s some form of corruption within the federation.

Basketball South Africa has the responsibility to govern basketball matters in an appropriate manner but failed to do so when players were threatened that they won’t be able to play for their country if they played in the LOP when it first kicked off. This matter could have been or can be stopped, players can approach SASCOC’s independent arbitrator to intervene in conflict resolution to the matter.

We recently got a hold of the old basketball constitution; apparently; the new one is being worked on… Hopefully BSA‘s Interim Committee can issue a report about what’s being done, changed and what’s being planned for the future of basketball in South Africa; there is plenty room for growth.

Article written by Nthabiseng Mushi

Tags: , , , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

There Are 35 Brilliant Comments

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Joe says:

    Unfortunately the article seems to have missed a lot of the information provided in discussions on this matter and this is misleading.

    I have at length explained that BSA is accountable to its constituent members that is Provincial associations and associate members including Schools and SASSU. I have said that BSA has accounted to its members and that if as an individual one wants to find this information one should have received this from your mother body ie Provincial association or Sassu.

    What this articles demonstrates is that the author iether is not part of the correct structures or that the author did not bother to request this information from the relevant people followiing the relevant protocol.

    The author further demonstrates the lack of knowledge by quoting IOC instead of FIBA to whom BSA is affiliated to.

    On the three questions asked the answers have repeatedly being provided:

    1. The interim committee was elected with a specific mandate, which was adopted by BSA members as above and have been reported in Provincial meetings.

    2. The interim commiettee was elected by Provincial associations and associate members as has been reported repeatedly and these are consituted by district associations as per the BSA constitution.

    3. One of the mandates of the interim commitee is the auditing of finances and if one belonged to correct structures one would know that previous audits were indenpendent.

    AGAIN, if have said this numerous times, we need to get our facts straight before we start with public insinuated accusations.

  2. baller says:

    i do remember that Joe mentioned all this in the debate regarding LOP and GBA. on the other hand, i read in last weeks mail and guardian that basketball will be one of the priority sport to receive more funding from SASCOC prior to the 2012 Olympic qualification. if this is the case, then our basketball move closer to realising that dream with everyone’s involvement and positive contribution.

  3. Lelo says:


    I can only assume that u are part of the “correct structres” as you put it. So here’s a question to you from a player who loves the game and has been frustrated with the way basketball in SA is being run. How is it that we as the players never see results? Year after year there is always someone in those structres talking about what a great job their doing and how they are reforming the sport yet we as players never experince any sort of improvement that can be attributed to anything they’ve done. Personally the improvents ive seen have come from induviduals who are tired of the way things are done and do something about it. Only problem with that is every time someone from your neck of the woods gets wind of it there is an attack on that person/organisation which in turn forces them to take a couple of steps back. Why are your structres so threatend by progressive people if they arent willing to be progressive themselves.

  4. Joe says:


    As a player have you ever attended any of the meeting of the structures and asked what is wrong and what they are doing? Have ever raised this with your club manager?

    Also the context in which I mentioned the structures in this debate in not about whether the structures are doing a good job but rather that the article was based on an uniformed perspective which could have been addressed by consulting the correct people.

    Are you arguing that you do not see the current Gauteng Basketball League, run by one of the correct structures (GBA), as a positive? What about the Engen U18 also ran by the correct structure BSA, or about the SASSU nationals ran by the correct structure SASSU or the schools winter and summer games ran by the corrrect structure formerly USSASA now Schools Sport. Or the Wheechair programme ran by the correct structure WBSA or the Masters ran by a correct structure Masters Basketball.

    What I am saying is that bballers are ignorant of the structures and do not even attempt to understand them before they critises them. The article demonstrates this ignorance, and worst still the writer did not even need to consult the structures to find the right answers as these have been addressed in this very platform used by the writer.

    I am not and will not be very kind to anyone who is wants to criticise for the sake of criticising as this article does.

  5. Lelo says:


    As i a player i dont have access to the meetings and i know that my team manager has hit brickwalls on nemourous occassions. Granted that there are some benefitial things put in place. But we all know that in the beginning the GBA was pushed to act on the GBL because of the potential threat of the LOP, please tell me that im wrong because id like to believe they would have acted as quickley without it.

    Enegen u18 has been a great thing for young and up coming high school players for the longest time, but what has happened to the Gauteng girls team? After 4 straight years of winning on year 5 we cant even make the semi finals? Why the change in the coaching and management that was doing such great things for the program?

    What we see as players is that BSA/GBA ect takes care of thier own. If you are in their lil nest they’l let you push your own agenda and it doesnt matter at what/who’s expense. Im not saying tha this is true, im just saying this is what it seems like to us and id like you to please explain why we are getting that impression.

    lastly, id lyk to say that i have great respect for the person who wrote the article becuase the administration only seems to acted when poked. The rest of the time they are content to not have to deal with what the players are feeling.

  6. Joe says:


    Thank you for acknowledging that structures are not as useless as most people seem to perceive. To correct you as a player you do have access to these meetings through your manager as you pointed out. You say that your manager had hit a brickwall, perharps it will be beneficial if you could elaborate in terms of what the issue was and what was the response from the structure concerned and if your manager took this up with the relevant national body.

    Secondly, the issue of LOP has also been discussed at length and it was clarified that GBL was not as a result of LOP but as a result of the death of Metro. Meaning Metro was a League association which as per the GBA constitution, thus GBA did not need to have a league. However, as explained, when Metro failed to meet beginning of this year and it was evident that a League association was not going to exist this year, GBA resolved to form GBL as GP could not not have a provincial league.

    Again as explained, GBA invited LOP to several meetings in which GBA advised LOP that constitutionally LOP can be recognised as a GBA league if it changes its status from a Private company to a Public company. Unfortuantely LOP was not prepared to change its status, as a result GBA could not recognise its league. These facts have been presented in this forum without any dispute.

    Therefore, Lelo, your suspicions about the GBL are unfounded and like the author of the article you seem to have decided to ignore the facts presented in this very forum to avoid the very misconception you have of the GBL.

    What this demonstrates is that my argument, that bballers, including the author, choose to be ignorant of the structures without finding out the facts and even when facts are presented these are ignored as is the case with the article.


    Development is one of the key responsibilities of GBA and this includes the development of coaches. Therefore the decision not to have Nthato coaching the Gautent girls for the past two years was not because GBA did not have faith in his ability. Rather it was felt that Nthato has been proven at this level and thus had nothing gain from coaching the girls U18. Additionally, Nthato was the National U18 coach at that time and it was felt his abilities will be wasted at provincial level. GBA resolved that Nthato would rather be a technical advisor for the Gauteng girls U18 if needed.

    As you know Gauteng went on to defend the Girls title with Asnathi as coach. This proved GBA correct in that we then knew that there is depth of coaching talent in Gauteng. Last year, my understanding is that Asnathi excused herself from coaching the team, hence another coach was selected, to continue with the development focus of GBA.

    As you can see the change of coaching was done in order to develop the depth of coaching in Gauteng. This was done not only for development sake but with the view that if GP has a number of coaches who have coached at a higher level this will improve the standard of girls play in Gauteng. Therefore, as much as winning is important this has to be contexualised with the main purpose of GBA ie development, especially when winning has already been achieved and there is nothing to prove.

    If you noticed, KZN boys also changed their coaching staff in the previous U18 tournament, thus this is not a Gauteng phenomena, it is a simple coaching development strategy applied on all sporting arenas.

  7. baller says:

    on the issue of coaches, i personally believe that coaches should be rotated at provincial level and national level. i mean you can’t have one person coaching a provincial team for like 5 years for example. we need as a province to groom other coaches and as usual, losing games is part of their learning process. we should not be quick to judge the coaches.

    this is the same problem we experience with the players because you will always have same faces playing at national or provincial level for 10 years. we at the same time need to introduce new phases so that they learn. at the end when the so called trusted or whatever retire, then we are going to start from scratch which shouldn’t be the case.

    on that note, Lelo i say its very good that GBA saw it fit to rotate coaches for the sake of development. its never all about winning.

  8. Nthabiseng says:


    If you read the article properly, you will see that. As the Author I am clearly stating what good sports governance is and how things work according to the infomation I got from the research I have done. I used GBA and LOP as an example. As stated in the article mybasketball has tryed to get specific infomation about what is happening with the interim commitee so we can put up a report, so people are aware of the happenings. We send emails to the commitee members asking for interviews etc and only recieved one response after weeks of trying. When asking that member, when we could set up the interview, no response was received.

    About meetings, infomation is not really provided to say if the meetings are open to the public. I personaly have asked a source to inform me about any meeting that the public and media can attened and still nothing has been said.

    The constitution should be available for people to access it at any time, but it is not even on the internet.

    Joe if you want to take a look at were I got infomation to write about what good sports governance is. Feel free to look up Salmar Burger or go to SRSA website and search for “The need for good sport governance”

    Read the article again Joe and you will see what the article is actually talking about.

  9. Joe says:


    Firstly, I have read and I have copies of the information you quoted on sport governance. What I am highlighting is that in your research you ignored FIBA regulations which are more relevant to BSA than the IOC. Secondly, you also ignored the SASCOC regulations which are just as relevant.

    The reason why these two documents are more crucial than the one you used, is that BSA is affiliated to both the FIBA and SASCOC, therefore its business is directly regulated by these organisations. SRSA can tell you that although they can advise BSA, they cannot directly intervene in its affairs, this can only be done by FIBA or SASCOC, SRSA can be only be involved at the request of BSA members or SASCOC.

    In terms of the BSA constitution, I have personally sent Victor a copy, every BSA provincial member in the Gauteng, ie GBA, USSA, School sport, Wheelchair, Masters, also have copies of the constitution. Therefore, the constitution is not a secret as you point it out to be. If, personally, you are affiliated to any of these provincial structures you could have asked one of them as their member, without having to go to BSA

    The above procedure is also applicable on the interim committe’s mandate and activity. The interim commitee was appointed by and is accountable to Provincial structures, including GBA, therefore if you are affiliated to GBA, as a club or organisation, you should be requesting this information from GBA.

    What I am trying to highlight with this argument is that there are procedures in place that people choose ignore and when they do not get any joy they are quick to jump to conclusions. These procedures are not just in BSA but in any sport organisation nationally and internationally. Even private companies follow similar procedures eg greviance, disciplinary and request for information procedures.

    Again, I argue, the answers to your 3 questions were dealt with in this forum. So then, why ask questions when answers have been provided?

  10. Nthabiseng says:

    Point taken on the whole SRSA issue. I did not say that the constitution was a secrate, it was not available or easly accessable. Sources say the constitution you provided is old and the new one is a work in progress.

  11. Setlogelo says:

    Over the last couple of years there have been a brouhaha about basketball going forward. Only to have nothing going on.

    It will be a great thing to have the interim structure speak to us. If rumors are true that SASCOC wants to put a lot of money for basketball in preparation of London 2012, then it could be an indication that our interim committee is doing something. Also if there is a rumor that the Lotto will sponsor the Seniors, it indicates that the interim guys are doing something. Even a slight rumor of having Under 18 Inter Provincial tournament sponsored by Sport and Recreation.

    Let us not confront the interim structure about the problems they inherited. Let us rather focus on influencing them to reveal if the rumors are true. And they will reveal if deals are signed.

    Let us give the structure all the support that they need. Soon basketball competition will be resurrected to meet our expectations.

  12. lady says:


    You are quite right, I think what Nthabiseng means in the article is that the commitee should give us a report back on what is happening

  13. Palesa says:

    what is Joe’s position on the following in relation to BSA:

    1. Accountability
    2. Transparency
    3. Democracy
    4. The King II report on Corporate Governance?

    and y should you be part of the federation in order to demand hi standards? does that not suggest that if you aren’t part of the committee you have no right to have an opinion?

    BSA operates within a larger context and i’m not convinced that they reflect that….

  14. neo says:

    Rumours will always circulate and that will never stop its human instinct. What we need to understand is that there are powers that want basketball to and the interim committee to fail so they can say “I told you so”

    If a was in their shoes, interim committee, I would never give sensitive info about their business because those powers can and will sabotage their plans. Yes they should report to the public about their plans but for them to come out and mention prospective sponsors would be imature and unprofessional. Whether Loptto, Sports and rec or any sponsor wants to come on board they have to make sure that the deal is signed first before making it public.

  15. baller says:

    how on earth will you anounce a sponsor you haven’t even signed on the dotted line for??its like going to a job interview and clim that you have been hired before signing on the dotted line. doesn’t make business sense..

  16. Setlogelo says:

    It is critical for all of us to dismiss the rumors. The media should not be trusted as what they do is raise our hopes. Intuition will tell that SASCOC would never spend a lot of money in basketball to get medals in London 2012. The statistics on the voters’ poll elsewhere on our only mouth piece ( website) also give an indication that the organisation will be wasting money. Perhaps the author has a vision of watching our young men and women at the biggest stage of the game. That would be great but I do not see SASCOC pumping money at a code that never had a chance to prove its mettle at the games. Swimming, Athletics, Long Distance Running as well as boxing has produced medals for the country before. The 21 year old BMX guy Sifiso “Skizo” Nhlapo was unlucky to turn early and fell at the finals of his competition. Is this not an opportunity for SASCOC to fund him well in preparation to the next Olympic games? If SASCOC were to prepare our basketball for the next olympics, they would have blundered big time.

    If the Lotto people sponsor a basketball tournament, won’t that be against their new policy? Will the other codes just keep mum about this development or would they also want to be funded in order to host a tourney?

    It is the responsibility of Sports and Recreation to ensure mass participation in sports. So they could consider the under 18 IPT.

    Let us be patient guys. Remember that rumors will stay rumors untill something is signed.

    As on the media, read between the lines. So far we have only one source to trust. It is

  17. baller says:


    my brother i think you completely missing the plot here. now you forgeting that that same basketball you talking about reached the quarter finals of the african mens’ cahmpionships. what would stop them claiming a place in the olympics with proper funding and administration. nothing will do that. we are capable of reaching that height in the near future. on the other hand, you invest for the future. if we not gonna make it in 2012 then there is 2016. shouldn’t we be considering that? example, SASOL has been pumping money into Amagluglug..have they achieved their dream of going to the olympics yet? NO..and SASOL is still pumping money cos thats investing for the future. we also need that in bball.

    secondly, basketball is part of the mass participation programme and why??because government has realised that there is so much potential in the sport so funding it will not be far of from SASCOC. the only thing is that as bball administrators we be responsible and accountable to the stakeholders which is everyone involved in basketball in the sponsors.

    thirdly, lottery has been pumping money into basketball. its not the first time it will happen if they give us funds for development or whatever. as much as everyone can apply for funding from the national lottery, basketball also does and receives some funding hence you’ll see lottery balls.

    if we get that part right, then i see no african country standing in our in the near future. its not late to start building and investing in bball. in sport rumours will forever be there.

    lastly, as much as we want people pumping money into bball we all need to get our hands dirty 1st to ensure that we have the right players when that time comes.

    i rest my case.

  18. Palesa says:

    the author asks a critical question – what about being transparent? even our South African President who cannot stand the media has a presidential media contingent. The point is all we’ve ever heard about basketball is heresay cause no-one in the federation ever says anything in public – i think it is a tactic that is very well used and abused to avoid accountability. Constitutions exist to communicate the common standards and values on which we base our conduct and measure our performance. so if the constitution is lacking we have nothing to hold anyone accountable. and if the federation doesn’t communicate, someone else will for them, and you can be sure that the message will end up being somewhat twisted. BUT, the media is neccessary because it provides a platform for public partcipation. so if there was no media (like this website) not only would we have no “bad” information, we would have NO objective information/critical analysis at all – this is a recipe for dictatorship style propoganda. i.e. don’t speak unless i’ve told you what to think…..

  19. Nthabiseng says:

    Palesa you know your staff im glad someboday knows something about the pillars of sport governance

  20. Setlogelo says:


    Dealing with basketball is a sensitive matter. There are millions of people who support the game and want to have something tangible. The interim committee must have an idea that they are dealing with the sports that will become no 2 after soccer if it is well nurtured.

    If you run to the media with false stories, they will destroy you on later publications.

    The interim committee will surely call a press conference to announce whatever they have. The media can then publish a credible story from that platform. Otherwise ignore talks on the corridors. They will not do any good.

    Look at the credentials of those peole and let us trust they will do their best.

  21. Joe says:

    One day make a difference, I was offline yesterday and I see the debate has been raging. VERY GOOD.


    If BSA’s website was up and running I am sure it would have been online. And we cannot blame the interim committee for this as currently they do have the funds to maintain a website, for this we know who to blame.

    Also the constitution I gave to Victor is still applicable until a new is adopted by the BSA members.


    I am saying the interim committee does speak to us through the relevant organisations which constitute BSA. I am saying as a member of EBA, BSA does speak to me through GBA. I am saying if you are at a tertiary institution BSA does speak to you through USSA nationaly and also through GBA if you are in Gauteng.

    I have said this at the beginning of the interim committee tenure that if bballers want first hand information about what is happening in BSA, then you need to affiliate to the organisations that form BSA. And that it is through these organisations that one request information from BSA.

    Again, the above procedure applies to all sporting codes and also in private organisations. For example, as an employee of my company I cannot jump may boss and her boss and request to speak to the MD directly, especially if the information I require has already been given to my boss.

    Therefore it seems to me that ballers do not want to affiliate to the structures but yet demand that structures account to them. BSA is accountable to me as member because I am affiliated to it through EBA and GBA. Also, I have said that if ballers want to contribute to the agenda of the interim committee and subsequent BSA, ballers need to do this through the structures.

    Therefore, to answer Lady, BSA has already reported back to you through the structures as per the BSA constitution.


    My position on the four question is simple these are already accomodated for in the constitution of the structures, you just need to read them.

    And No! you do not need to be part of a committe to have an opinion, however your opinion must be informed, especially if it is going to be published publicly. And as much as you have a right to an opinion, others also have right to correct you if your opinion is not based on facts.

    Rights come with responsibilities, and as ballers we seem not to understand our responsibilities.

    My advice is first find out the facts before you form an opinion and I am saying these facts are available, just ask your local association as it through them that BSA is accountable to you as an individuall.

  22. Palesa says:

    i’ve seen the ‘credentials’ of some of that interim committee first hand and that’s what worries me, especially President Maleka who is heavily immersed in SA politics and supported Vusi Mghobozi’s tenure, do you really want a career politician taking us forward?……

  23. baller says:

    I see that sport governance is a real problem and issue here hence there are references to the following:

    • King Report on Corporate Governance.
    • Transparency
    • Accountability
    • Democracy

    As much as everyone has their own opinion, at the end of the day people have to be held accountable for their actions and at the same time perform their responsibilities openly and transparently. I think that is what the King Report is about.

    The issue on whether BSA is transparent and accountable is something else because now we have an interim committee. My thought was that as much as it was introduced on the national media publicly, we all deserve to get feed-back on some of the issues they are dealing with. Obviously there might be sensitive issues that at this stage we not supposed to know but surely they can shed some light on what is happening since their term is nearing an end.

    I agree with you Joe that the interim committee will circulate information through provincial structures which is not a bad idea but as I said before:

    • How many of these structures are functional and does report to their members?
    • How many of them know their affiliates let alone have meeting at regular intervals?
    • Do you believe that SASSU basketball report to institutions on what is happening in Basketball?

    If anyone can recall, I once said the interim committee should also help clean up our provincial structures as some have been there for years without elections or anything. You differ with them on opinions then they shut you up by sidelining you.

    At the end of the day, for them to reach the masses, they should at-least issue some statements on the media. In that case, the masses will be aware of the issues around basketball.

    Palesa raised an issue regarding President Maleka. Unfortunately I don’t like attacking individuals in their personal capacity. If you look at his history, he has been SASSU basketball president and whether or not he is the right person for the job, only time will tell and let’s rather give him time. I also had the same issue with the Interim Committee that it’s the same faces that have been there and done that but produced nothing for basketball.

    At the end, the reality is as Joe has been indicating all along that we need to be involved in our local structures as in that way we will have a voice on who is elected into the BSA office. Basketball will then belong to basketballers’ and not politicians or individuals furthering their own personal agendas.

    Lastly, the interim committee has to ensure that those who breached the code of corporate governance are held accountable as basketball is a public institution. They should be dealt with through our legal system if such action is required.

  24. Joe says:


    Then the question is how did Maleka get there and how do we make sure the ‘right’ people are in BSA?

    As I have argued numerous times, the ‘right’ do not want to do the dirty work, I have personally invited some of them to be involved. They have told me unashamedly that they are either too busy to be involved or do not want to get involved until things are sorted out.

    My question is who must sort things out, the government? And the answer is the government/SASCOC cannot sort BSA out, as FIBA/IOC will ban BSA tomorrow because no government have the right to interfere in Federation affairs.

    Therefore, according to FIBA and SASCOC regulations, the only people who can solve BSA and ensure that the ‘right’ people run BSA is the members, me and you. And the way we can do this, according to BSA regulations, is by becoming involved in local and provincial structures.


  25. Joe says:


    I am happy that at least someone is listening because I was starting to think that there is no point in me participating in this forum when people refuse to listen when issues are clarified.

    As ballers we need to stop being ignorant and start to take responsibility. As far as I am concerned, we are all responsible for the mess that bball finds itself in. Most of us do not want to get involved in local associations but are quick to blame BSA if these are not functioning.