South Africa's basketball community

SuperSport Exec to Chair Basketball Elections

By on November 13, 2013 in News

On Saturday the interim committee of Basketball SA will be hosting the long awaited Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect the new executive council. Leading this process is the current Chairman, Graham Abrahams, a top executive at SuperSport, and his deputy Albert “Ali” Mokoena, who is Chairman of the Basketball National League and a former acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the South African Football Association (SAFA).

Abrahams and Mokoena have been instrumental in gathering support and momentum around the game in the last year, including leading a Parliamentary Committee (PC) briefing on the state of Basketball in June this year to the Sport and Recreation Portfolio Committee. Abrahams is the current Head of Regulatory Affairs and Enterprises at SuperSport International, and has been with the company since 2005.  His biography on the company website reports that he was “Director of Communications in the Ministry of Sport and Recreation and Ministerial Advisor on policy formulation, regulatory matters and transformation.”  Mokoena also worked for government, serving briefly as the Director General of Home Affairs in the late nineties.  His tenure was cut short as he narrowly escaped being fired by the Minister of Home Affairs after being accused of using government resources to run the Soweto Panthers. Things at SAFA were not that rosy either as he was blamed by former SAFA staff for “slowly killing the game”, according to an unflattering article published on IOL sport in 2004.

Abrahams and Mokoena will aim to oversee the election of an able executive council that for the next four years will spearhead an ambitious plan to revive basketball including staging out-of-season international BNL fixtures early next year, building high quality facilities with customised floors around the country, and launching a Women’s Basketball National League (WBNL) in 2015.  The most impressive of these plans include a plan to improve the ranking of South Africa on the African stage, with the men being ranked at least within the top 6 from current ranking of 14, and raising the women from 17 to within the top 8 all by 2016.

Basketball SA financials recently distributed to provincial affiliates and the relevant associations, clearly indicate that the federation is not yet out of the red and is currently trying to broker a peace plan with the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund, who are demanding a repayment of around R6.9million because sufficient expense reports were not received from Basketball SA.  In his closing remarks, Member of Parliament Richard Mdakane (ANC) and Chairperson of the PC meeting, warned Basketball SA about the “quality” of people that are invited to serve in the national executive council to avoid further corruption within the sport. With that warning in their pockets and many issues that are still left to be resolved, Abrahams and Mokoena have a tough job on the weekend to stabilise national leadership and setup Basketball to once again rise from the trenches.

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