Opinion: Is It Not Time For A Critically Conscious All Woman Executive To Administer SASCOC? By Cheryl Roberts

20 Apr

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Sascoc, South Africa’s highest sports controlling body, is seemingly in turmoil with warring factions and cabals aiming for control of the sports structure. Since inception, Sascoc has always been a men-dominated sports body with a few women sports officials and employees in between. It would be honest to say that the men-dominated SASCOC got the sports body into the mess that it finds itsef in; littered with accusations of how SASCOC got to be in the negative, almost bankrupt position that its presently in.

SASCOC recently changed its constitution to ensure equal women and men gender representation on the SASCOC Board. But after all these years of a men-dominated SASCOC, is it not an appropriate juncture to have an all-woman executive and Board? The men officials and leadership have messed up. At least, most of the men. Do we want to continue with men officials/leadership messing up South Africa’s sports controlling body?

And the big question: Can and will women officials/leadership impact on the going forward phase of SASCOC? It must be made clear that not because you are a woman that you are likely to have the impact on SASCOC that SASCOC requires. Why do I say this? Identifiying as a woman and having a consciousness that is against men’s hegemonic control and men-domination are not the same.

We can’t and don’t want women in leadership positions at SASCOC if the women do not challenge and call out gender inequalities in sport, men’s control and domination of sport and patriarchal supporting sport. This makes me emphasise that we must watch out for patriarchal supporting women! Such women are our enemies and not our allies.

We are of the opinion that South Africa has competent women officials and admnistrators in sport who can lead sport and advance sport to higher levels. Some of the women officials such as Cecilia Molokwane, Marissa Langeni, Nomsa Mahlungu, Kim Pople, Ntambi Ravele, Thelma Achilles, Diane Morgan, Dorothy Tsotsobe, Moonira Ramathula, and several emerging and young women in sport officialdom. We must be careful of the opportunistic women who keep quiet once they have a national position and get some personal benefits for themselves.

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The men-dominated SASCOC is at war and battling factions and cabals are strangling SASCOC. Do we want to go forward with these same men officials in charge, allowing them more control to exacerbate an already explosive paradigm? Or do we come in with fresh officialdom, that is woman-dominated and allow for freshness of ideas and a consciousness that is anti-men control, to take power and use the power in the interests of smashing men control of sport and eliminating gender inequalities?

I must stress that my consciousness doesn’t support women leaders just because you are woman. I refuse to support you should you be known to be reactionary and never challenge patriarchal control and support in sport. I will support the woman leader in sport who has the consciousness, willingness and interest to attack sport’s gender inequalities that are propped up by our patriarchal society and ensured and consolidated by patriarchal supporting men in sport.

Given the men-created battles within SASCOC, especially leading up to elections I’m going to ponder whether a women-dominated or all-women executive and Board would be the positive answer that we require to take SASCOC forward. Surely there are women who can lead SASCOC? And yes,I believe there are! So maybe we should start and get the all-women SASCOC executive elected.

Tatjana Schoenmaker

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