Controversial chairman of Parliament's sports committee Butana Khompela was at his irascible best this week when he rebuked the media for their reporting of SA's Olympic debacle and openly threatened Netball SA, writes Wyndham Hartley in Business Day.


Never far from the headlines, Khompela made his statements shortly after the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) had refused to attend meetings of the parliamentary committee because of the way in which they were handled by Khompela. The dispute has since been patched up.

Opening a meeting of the committee, Khompela said the media reports had made false comparisons when reporting on the failures of the South African team in Beijing.

He said that it was poor reporting for SA to be measured against large developed countries when considering the financial support placed behind Olympic teams.

In reference to the R3,5bn which Australia is reported to have spent in the past four years on Olympic preparation, he said: "We will never be able to do this, where will SA and Zimbabwe get that kind of money?

"We must be compared with other developing countries," he said, mentioning Kenya and Ethiopia but failing to mention why those countries performed substantially better than SA.

Khompela said that this did not mean that the funding of sports development would not be discussed by the committee at some future stage. He said that reports claiming that only R9m was spent on the team were untrue and that funding of about R120m had been provided to Sascoc. "We cannot be the same as the US which spends huge amounts of money. We have other responsibilities like getting water, houses and electricity to our people," he said.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.