Butana Komphela clearly missed his calling in life – he should have been an airport security guard.
Yesterday the chairman of parliament’s sports portfolio committee warbled on about how he’d go to the airport to accost IAAF president Lamine Diack if he tried to enter South Africa without first apologising for his federation’s handling of Caster Semenya (click here to read Komphela’s comments).
You may recall, from a couple of years ago, Komphela threatening to go to the airport to take away passports from white Springboks if he didn’t like the racial make-up of the team.
To perform both tasks would require him working in both immigration and emigration – which probably proves that he doesn’t really know if he’s coming or going!
Is he so stupid to think that we’ve forgotten him apologising for lying? Hmmm, I won’t answer that … mind you, he was addressing Parliament, or more specifically, the sports portfolio committee chaired by his buddy Butana Komphela.
Doesn’t that count as contempt of Parliament?
Anyway, here’s a limerick to that mampara Chuene, who clearly will remain as Athletics SA president until the day he dies!
There was an old fool called Len
Who’s lying to us again
He said he lied
Now he’s denied
For truth he gets zilch outta 10!
Surprise, surprise! Leonard Chuene is not just going to walk away.
In spite of the fact that almost every person in the country thinks the athletics boss should quit, Chuene has said he’s going to stick it out, claiming he has the support of his board. That doesn’t necessarily mean much because they’re known to be Chuene sycophants.
But the interesting fact here is that Chuene is still enjoying support from his buddy, Butana Komphela. I reckon that’s the real reason why Chuene still has the gall to carry on. Tweedledee and Tweedledum always ride together (and hopefully they’ll go down together).
By the way, do you know that Chuene earns money as a member of the IAAF council? If you remember, he resigned over the IAAF’s decision to test Caster Semenya, but was subsequently instructed by the ASA council to withdraw his resignation so he could carry on his fight there. Council members apparently get around $500 a day while on Council business. And add to that the salary Chuene receives illicitly from ASA, and the man’s on a good wicket.
I have wondered, if both he and Komphela were to lose their jobs, what work they would and could do? I don’t think lecturing ethics at Oxford would be an option.
My humble guess is that they’d team up to work a traffic light together, taking turns to hold the tin. On second thought, maybe not – they’ve both shown an obvious inability to carry the can.
In the past 24 hours, the M&G and Sapa have both released cracker-jack stories exposing Athletics SA officials and Butana Komphela in the Caster Semenya saga. It turns out that ASA president Leonard Chuene and his general manager, Molatelo Malehopo, indeed knew about Semenya’s gender verification test in South Africa before the world championships (click here to read M&G story).
And Sapa reports that Chuene, Malehopo and Butana Komphela, the chairman of Parliament’s sports portfolio committee, had met Semenya on Wednesday night to coach her about what to say when she next addresses a press conference.
It’s time for this triumvirate to be booted out! At the very least, they should be the subjects of a proper investigation, and then booted out (because I have no doubt they have been lying and/or acting unethically).
But if the powers that be in this country fail to act, then we may as well kiss South Africa goodbye as an ethical home. Because failure to act means that nobody cares about the really important issues – truth, integrity and the potentially shattered life of young Caster.
I know that if I had gone through what Semenya is, when I was an insecure 18 year old, I would have been mortified.
In his election campaign, President Jacob Zuma spoke about not tolerating incompetent, corrupt and lazy officials. Now would be a good time for him show that he means what he says.
When I was 18 I visited the US on a holiday in the mid-1980s, and I still remember feeling so ashamed of being South African that occasionally I told people I was English. I know what it feels like to be shamed by one’s nation.
I don’t ever want to feel like that again, but I will should the likes of Chuene and Komphela not be dealt with adequately. I want to be a South African who can say proudly that I live in a democracy where truth is one of the virtues of our society.
Athletics SA have been called to Parliament’s sports portfolio committee to explain their role in the Caster Semenya fiasco.
Will president Leonard Chuene be grilled to a crisp, as happens to certain witnesses at the Senate hearings they have in Washington DC?
Not a chance! You can bet your house that Mr Chuene, who has perfected the PW Botha finger-wag, will be protected by his good friend Butana Komphela, aka the Perjurer of Parliament, who happens to chair the sports committee. It’s the safest bet anybody could take, and here’s why:
Let’s go back to early last year, when “PW” Chuene got into a row with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), who wanted to take disciplinary steps against him. Before you could say “gold medal”, Komphela had fired a letter off to Sascoc telling them they couldn’t take any action against Chuene, arguing that Chuene had criticised Sascoc while talking to his committee and therefore had privilege of Parliament. The fact is that Chuene had made comments about Sascoc outside of Parliament too.
Without going into the finer details, that was the background when I wrote some stories in the Sunday Times exposing claims about “PW” Chuene’s administration of ASA. For one, he was accused having an affair with his personal assistant and then motivating for her to get a pay rise; he was also accused of being paid a salary, even though the president of ASA is an elected official and, as decreed by the federation’s constitution, is not supposed to earn a cent.
These were serious claims, but they were never raised by the Perjurer of Parliament, who instead attacked Sascoc and myself. Not once did he question Chuene’s integrity.
At an ASA bash to celebrate the Olympic long jump silver medal won by Khotso Mokoena, Komphela was one of the speakers. Komphela and Chuene are buddies – they’ve openly admitted this.
If there is ever going to be a proper probe of ASA it cannot be led by Komphela – the Perjurer will protect “PW” as best he can.
If there’s one thing we must learn from the sad case of Caster Semenya, it’s that we cannot expect Leonard Chuene and Butana Komphela to do the right thing.
These two are close buddies, and collusion is their middle name. Chuene was so smug when he hammered the IAAF for testing Semenya, and Komphela was so vocal in backing his friend.
But now, if the report from Australia is to be believed (click here to read the story), then it seems that Semenya will no longer be allowed to compete as a woman. She has no womb nor ovaries, and possesses internal testes, which apparently give her three times more testosterone than a normal woman.
The IAAF, it seems, had every right to perform a gender test. Perhaps Chuene and Komphela forgot about the rights of every single female 800m runner in the world to enjoy fair competition.
The tactics of Chuene and Komphela to scream and shout and threaten the world – hoping to get everyone to back off – haven’t stopped the truth coming out, assuming this report is correct.
But if it is correct, then it’s time for Chuene and Komphela to go! Last year I wrote several stories on Chuene’s administration of Athletics SA that show he should not be president any longer. He’s confirmed this with the way he’s handled the Semenya matter.
As for Komphela – who should be termed the “Perjurer of Parliament” (he once announced in a committee meeting that he knew that I had emigrated to SA … even though I was born here) – he should be sent back to the Free State in disgrace.
Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum have hopefully danced their last waffling waltz together.