Épée fencer drags Sascoc to court

Joburg-based épée fencer Juliana Rose Barre has applied for a court order to remove Olympic athletes Natalie du Toit, Khotso Mokoena and
Amanda Dlamini from the Athletes Commission (AC).

Other athletes Barre wants expunged from the AC include Lawrence Ndlovu, Bridgitte Hartely, Ernst van Dyk, Zanele Situ, Nicola Rossouw, Vuyisanani Mangisa and Zack Piontek.

Barre also wants Du Toit removed as a board member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and also as chairperson of the AC.

She also wants Sascoc to lift the ban it imposed on her.

In the papers filed in the high court in Joburg on October 30, Barre said the commission was not legally constituted as its members were not democratically elected by fellow athletes.

She said Du Toit was appointed chairperson of AC on May 22 2017 by Sascoc instead of being elected by fellow athletes as so decreed by the organisation’s constitution.

She also said instead of being elected by members to serve as board member of Sascoc, the latter unilaterally co-opted her on June 17.

After being co-opted, Barre said, Du Toit handpicked the athletes to be members of AC. She said by so doing Sascoc arrogated to itself the powers it didn’t have and acted ultra vires.

She said as a result of Sascoc’s failure to hold elections she was excluded from being a member of the AC a‹er her organisation, Fencing Federation of South Africa, accepted her nomination to be a member.

“Fencing Federation of South Africa delivered a letter to Sascoc stating it has accepted my nomination to be included in Sascoc’s Athletes Commission but I never heard from them,” read the papers.

“I have been embroiled in a litigation with Sascoc for several years arising as a result of Sascoc’s refusal to enter me for competition at 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Due to my institution of legal proceedings against Sascoc, I was unofficially banned and blacklisted from Sascoc with the effect that notwithstanding that I was nominated for election to the Athletes Commission, I was illegally disqualified by a Sascoc directive from being elected to the Athletes Commission and my name was removed from the consideration,” read the papers.

Barrett’s attorney David Burrows of Burrows Attorneys declined to comment, saying the matter is sub judice.

By Ngwako Malatji

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