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MSA FIRES A SALVO

 

Most Rallystar readers will know about the war of words between Steve Wyndham and MSA.

Lots have been said and claimed by Steve and MSA’s first reply came from their CEO a short input from the current Chairman after they obtained an interim court Interdict silencing Wyndham.

Quite a number of Wyndham supporters and unhappy general “customers” of MSA still had quite a bit to say and questions to ask.

With Wyndham “gagged” MSA could release an unopposed and unhindered second statement denying everything Wyndham said.

They have also answered a few questions and undertook to look at some concerns.

This will be great – if they have the executives who are capable of changing some of the worrying aspects and if they apply the monies received in the right way, this whole saga may just have served its purpose – to a certain extent.

There are however a few things that need to be addressed.

More about this later when the time comes.

Meanwhile, read the statement issued by MSA – and then you will have to wait and see what happens when the court case starts.

Here we go:-

”Winston Churchill famously said that a lie can travel halfway across the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Motorsport South Africa last week joined a group of individuals and entities in defending their name against unfounded, defaming and outright reckless statements made by Mr Steve Wyndham on his social media channels. The court sided with us and also instructed Mr Wyndham to remove all the posts in which he made these baseless accusations against MSA and several well-known individuals, or face criminal prosecution.

Our court action was preceded by several weeks in which MSA’s senior management team, including me and other directors, attempted to contact and reason with Mr Wyndham. This proved fruitless and Mr Wyndham went as far as to block or delete comments attempting to clarify his misunderstanding or defend MSA.

Many people who have subsequently received our statement to say that the Court found in favour of MSA and other respondents were not party to the preceding weeks and the many attempts to reason with Mr Wyndham. They saw this as a very heavy-handed reaction against a concerned fellow motorsport enthusiast and an unwillingness by MSA to answer the questions Mr Wyndham posted.

Some of these individuals have turned to Facebook and other social channels to ask questions of MSA’s management. They also questioned MSA’s structure, corporate responsibilities and the way it spends the money it receives from various stakeholders.

We hope to address the most frequently asked questions below and will make every effort to answer future questions addressed to MSA and to develop a closer working relationship with the many thousands of supporters of South African motorsport.

Anton Roux, Chairman – Motorsport South Africa

Allegations made on Social Media and our response to these allegations

Several reckless, unfounded and damaging allegations have been made on social media against MSA and various individuals, and MSA issued a release in this regard on 22 January 2020.

Some of these comments, quite correctly ask:

1.“Why did they (MSA) have to resort to the courts for a judgement?”

During December 2019 Mr Steve Wyndham started to accuse MSA and others of looting, committing fraud and misappropriating hundreds of millions of rand. These accusations were made without any facts or substance.

Mr Wyndham further accused board members of enriching themselves and accused them of hi-jacking the sport. He also defamed several organisations and individuals, most of whom work tirelessly and without compensation to further motorsport in South Africa.

MSA responded on Facebook and requested that he engage with the management team about his grievances. We also sent him a legal letter requesting that he cease making any defamatory comments.

Mr Wyndham declined our requests to engage and then continued with his tirade. It is also important to reiterate that where someone commented and disagreed with Mr Wyndham’s approach or comments, he often deleted these comments or posts, or blocked these individuals from having access to his Facebook page. By deleting or blocking certain comments, he created a totally unbalanced view.

While any organisation or individual can rightly defend his/her reputation when it is attacked in this way, we believe that urgent action was also needed to stop this fake news from spreading and leaving some residual in the hearts and minds of our supporters and sponsors. We rely on them to support and develop motorsport and ensure its future viability.

2. “Why does MSA simply not respond to these questions?”

The senior team at MSA has attempted to read every post that we could find, and each comment made by anybody who felt that he/she to add to the discussion. We very often struggled to find the question amidst the many accusations, but we have attempted to answer those that we believe have caused the most concern:

Financial position of MSA and compensation paid to Board members and MSA employees.

1. MSA’s Annual Financial Statements are prepared every year. These are audited by an independent auditor and then approved by the Board and presented at the Annual General Meeting. MSA has never had a qualified audit report since its inception. For clarification, an auditor would ‘qualify’ a statement if he/she found areas of concern, mismanagement or other financial misconduct.

2. The Annual Financial Statements are available to any member of the public on the MSA website. You can access them here: http://eolstoragewe.blob.core.windows.net/wm-553616-cmsimages/2018AuditedFinancialStatements.pdf

3. Other than the CEO, no board member receives any remuneration from MSA. The annual remuneration of the CEO (and of every member of the team) is approved by the company’s Remuneration Committee (a sub-committee of the Board) and is disclosed in the Annual Financial Statements.

4. Any allegations of theft, fraud or mismanagement of the financial affairs of MSA are rejected in the strongest terms.

Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI)

The Memorandum of Incorporation is the document that sets out the rights, duties and responsibilities of shareholders or members, directors and others within a company, and in terms of which a company is incorporated under the Companies Act.

The Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) is MSA’s “constitution” of MSA and is a legal requirement in terms of the Companies Act. MSA is a not for profit company hence the letters NPC behind its name, but it is a requirement of the Companies Act that MSA complies with this Act and all other regulatory requirements.

The current MOI was adopted at a SGM during June 2017.

It is important to note that a licence holder is NOT a member of MSA, but a member of a club / association or corporate entity. The club / association or corporate entity is a member of MSA.

The following schematic explains the functioning of MSA.

The answers to many of the questions raised on social media appear on the MSA website. The Annual Financial Statements, MOI, Chairman’s Report, Chief Executive’s report and the report of the financial director have been on the MSA website since July 2019.

You can have a look at all the documents here: http://www.motorsport.co.za/DisplayLink.aspx?group=Annual%20General%20Meeting&name=Annual%20General%20Meeting

Composition of the Board as at 27 January 2020

Name Description. Date of Appointment

Anton Roux. Non-Executive Chairman. March 2019

Adrian Scholtz. Executive Director, CEO. August 2014

Glyn Hall. Independent Non-Executive Director July 2019

Rakesh Beekum. Independent Non-Executive Director. July 2019

Anthony Taylor. . Independent Non-Executive Director. August 2017

Richard Schilling. Independent Non-Executive Director. August 2017

Fayaaz Alibhai Independent Non-Executive Director. September 2018

Sifiso Themba. Independent Non-Executive Director September 2018

Ashwin Harri Independent Non-Executive Director. July 2019

Melanie Spurr. Independent Non-Executive Director. July 2019

Frik Kraamwinkel. Independent Non-Executive Director. July 2019

Dr Greg Mills. Independent Non-Executive Director. July 2019

Edward Murray. Independent Non-Executive Director. August 2017

Sarel van der Merwe. Independent Non-Executive Director. August 2017

Mike Rowe Independent Non-Executive Director. August 2017

East London Circuit

It is very important to note that MSA did not close or ban this historical circuit. MSA did raise some safety concerns and is comfortable that these are being addressed. One national event was moved away from the East London circuit for 2020, following a decision by the promoters of the event (the Extreme Festival) and not by MSA.

National Colours

The criteria for the awarding of National Colours can be found on the MSA website, here: http://www.motorsport.co.za/DisplayLink.aspx?group=Hall%20of%20Fame&name=Protea%20Colours

The Board will revisit the subject of National Colours during 2020.

Conclusion

The Board is committed to act in the best interest of motorsport.

We have a committed staff complement of only 13 employees compared to a staff compliment of more than 25 employees a decade ago.

The management team is responsible for 13 different categories of motorsport and more than 450 events a year. From time to time, we face different challenges and sometimes things go wrong, however, we are committed to deal with these challenges in order to resolve them to the benefit of all members.

We welcome constructive criticism and will investigate any suggestion that is supported by facts. We also commit to better communicate all rules, regulations and relevant information to our community in 2020.

 

Media enquiries – Leo Kok, leo@pantheramedia.co.za, 082 327 2763 | Motorsport SA enquiries – msa@motorsport.co.za