Right of Reply: SA Rugby’s Mark Alexander wants Graeme Joffe ‘arrested’

JOHANNESBURG — A very public battle has blown out between SA Rugby President Mark Alexander and sports journalist Graeme Joffe. The latter has accused Alexander of accepting kickbacks in a sponsorship deal with Megapro that started in 2010. However, Alexander has now laid a criminal defamation charge against Joffe and he further wants to see the US-based journalist “arrested” if he sets foot in South Africa again. Amid the latest confrontation between the two men, below are selected snippets of Alexander and Joffe’s quotes from an article written by Sports24.com this week. We’ve also posted comments that Joffe made in an interview with BizNews this year including another article that Joffe wrote for us. – Gareth van Zyl

“I expect him to visit South Africa sometime in future and I want him to be arrested on criminal defamation charges,” [Mark] Alexander said in a sworn statement.

Frikkie Erasmus, Alexander’s lawyer, said Alexander wanted to “do everything in his power to address the unfounded defamatory allegations against him and is eager for it to be trialled in an open court to prove it is false.”

He says minutes obtained from an SA Rugby meeting state that Alexander had no involvement in the Megapro contract.

“Joffe reassures himself that a civil lawsuit against him is senseless and futile because he does not own anything and lives in America. He therefore believes that he is effectively untouchable.”

Source (read the full story here): SA Rugby boss calls for sports journo Joffe’s arrest

Joffe says he stands by his initial report on BizNews and that Alexander will “soon be further denounced”.

“The truth obviously hurts,” Joffe said. “It’s high time that Alexander admits his transgressions and resigns from his position at SA Rugby. I’m also curious as to why he didn’t act earlier when I first broke the story more than three years ago.”

Joffe said he suspects that SA Rugby’s board is “tired of negative reporting” and that Alexander would have to show “he’s doing something” given the fact that SA Rugby’s elections are around the corner.

Source (read the full story here): SA Rugby boss calls for sports journo Joffe’s arrest

Below is a snippet from an interview that Joffe had with BizNews’ Alec Hogg last month regarding Alexander:

Does the name Hogan Lovells, mean anything to you?

Well, now it does. It didn’t mean anything until I read BizNews this morning and I saw the whole newsletter and I was reading about Hogan Lovells, the law firm in London, and it’s quite ironic because their company in SA, their lawyer, Brian Bieber, was given R70 000 by Megapro to spy on me because I was doing a whole exposé on SA rugby about four years ago and it led me to Mark Alexander, who is now the president of SA Rugby, who got R2.5m in kickbacks from Megapro to push through the renewal of a massive lucrative commercial contract. Megapro’s lawyer is Brian Biebuyck, and I got legal threats from him at the time. I knew all along that eventually something was going to break and just a few months ago I had got an invoice that shows Hogan Lovells was paid R75 000 to spy on me for Megapro.

What is that story with Megapro because looking at the piece that you wrote for us this morning that we’ve published on Biznews, there’s some interesting names there, not least, Markus Jooste?

That’s the thing. Megapro, George Rautenbach is very well connected at the highest levels. He’s very friendly with Mark Alexander, big friends. He’s big friends with Imtiaz Patel at SuperSport and MultiChoice. Slowly you start to join the dots because these guys are all in the system where there’s a lot of dirty conduits. It’s cash behind the back. It’s dropping off briefcases of cash for certain deals and that how it all works. They’ve all become very friendly, and they all know each other. Megapro take Jurie Roux around the world to different golf events. He went to the Masters in 2015 with Megapro, the British Open last year. As I said, George Rautenbach has a marketing company that has a lot to answer for, and a lot of people and Sedgars is another whole story. They’ve acted as a dirty conduit for a bunch of different people. They’ve got all these big contracts and as a clothing manufacturer they supply not only clothing but certainly a whole lot of kit, and equipment to all the different sporting federations, including SASCOC, and that’s all linked to Hajera Kajee and Tubby Reddy – it’s deeply rooted corruption in SA sport that’s systemic and it’s a mafia that’s running sport in the country.

Also, read Joffe’s full piece on Alexander here: #JoiningTheDots: The SA Sports Mafia – Graeme Joffe. MUST READ!