TOM NPC External Investigative Report
26 October 2020
As a turbulent year draws to a close, the Two Oceans Marathon (TOM) NPC is looking forward to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) with a full agenda of important matters to discuss.
Apart from a multitude of challenges that resulted in the unfortunate cancellation of this year’s Two Oceans Marathon due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, over the past months the management of the Two Oceans Marathon also came under fire from a fierce critic who tried to paint a picture of an errant organisation being mismanaged.
This letter is intended to clear up the confusion and rumours, and to communicate what we have achieved in terms of setting the record straight.
When the TOM NPC Board received an open letter in December last year from Mr James Evans in which he raised various governance concerns pertaining to the management of TOM, we immediately launched a thorough internal investigation.
After getting feedback from an internal committee that looked at all aspects of Mr Evans’ allegations, the board was satisfied that there was no evidence of mismanagement and that all decisions had been made in the best interest of the Two Oceans Marathon and the running community.
For the sake of transparency and to show our commitment to good governance, the TOM Board decided to ask external investigators in February this year to also scrutinise all our records and board decisions.
The resulting audit was conducted by three independent experts based in Cape Town: PJ Veldhuizen, a practising attorney and founding partner of the boutique commercial law firm known as Gillan & Veldhuizen Inc.; Kobus Nell, a chartered accountant and registered auditor who is a professional partner of the firm PKF Constantia Valley Cape Town Inc.; and Craig Cutler, an advocate of the High Court of South Africa and a member of the Cape Bar.
The scope of the investigators’ mandate was to investigate, review, report, and where appropriate, make recommendations pertaining to the corporate governance concerns raised by Mr Evans in his letter. The team was mandated to review the time period from 2017 until the present.
The investigators scrutinised all TOM documentation of the last three financial years such as agendas of meetings, minutes, resolutions, records and notifications of decisions. They also looked at our annual financial statements, as well as relevant emails, and they interviewed several TOM employees and stakeholders.
Their report was scheduled to be released before the TOM race in April this year, but the national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic meant that the investigation could not be completed in time and the report had to be postponed. The investigators resumed their work after the change of the national Coronavirus alert level in September and they submitted a final report on 13 October. We are grateful for the hard work, dedication and thoroughness the team put into the investigation.
The full report will be discussed in detail at our AGM, but we would like to share a summary of the findings ahead of the meeting to provide clarity to all stakeholders who are keen to get to the bottom of the ongoing smear campaign by Mr Evans.
In a nutshell, the report’s independent authors concluded what the board’s management has been saying all along – that many of the grievances raised by Mr Evans are based on incorrect information and a narrow understanding of our procedural policies as well as the rights, duties and responsibilities of the TOM NPC board members.
The TOM NPC is by no means an organisation in “crisis” and there is no evidence of fraudulent transactions, corruption or any cover-ups. The checks and balances we’ve put in place over the years to ensure good governance is effective and our management does not shy away from accountability. We take criticism very seriously and therefore also welcome the recommendations of the independent investigators and commit to improve in areas where our policies might be inadequate or vague, and where we could streamline decision-making and communication.
We look forward to the feedback and input from representatives from the running community to help us make the Two Oceans Marathon a truly memorable highlight. Our management remains committed to doing everything possible to ensure this iconic ultra-marathon continues to be a fantastic and safe experience for all participants.
Thank you for your support.
THE TOM NPC BOARD
Copyright in the below Independent Investigative Report: TOM NPC.Summary of the findings of the TOM Independent Investigative Report
If you are an NPC member and would like to read the full report, kindly send a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org.