Tubby Reddy, a sporting man
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SUNDRASAGREN “Tubby” Reddy’s exit from the powerful sports position he once held might have been controversial but those close to him spoke fondly of his genial nature and lauded his boardroom achievements.
His family has vowed to explore legal options to ensure the “false allegations” made previously against Reddy were cleared.
Reddy, 62, died on Wednesday and was laid to rest at the Brixton Hindu Crematorium in Johannesburg on Thursday.
He is survived by his wife, three children, daughter-in-law and two siblings.
For more than two decades, Reddy was a key sports figure in the country, especially after he became chief executive of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) in February 2009.
Reddy was dismissed in 2018 after some corruption allegations and a Sascoc employee made sexual harassment claims against him.
However, Reddy, a former school teacher, maintained his innocence and claimed his fall from office was plotted by his rivals.
He challenged his dismissal legally and the matter was set down for arbitration.
His son Mishen said the family was disappointed that Reddy died before he his name was cleared.
“We believe the allegations were false. We are presently completing our cultural rituals, but we will explore our options with regards to the case in due course,” Mishen promised.
He said his father was passionate about sport and his love for volleyball set him on the path of sports administration, where he played an instrumental role in developing a non-racial volleyball federation in the country.
Away from the sporting arena, Mishen said Reddy loved being around people, entertaining, inciting infectious humour and was kind-hearted.
“He was a gentle giant with a heart of gold.”
Mishen said father’s best achievements included Durban being announced as a Commonwealth Games host city and hosting the successful 123rd IOC session.
“My dad’s proudest moment was leading the country’s most successful team at an Olympics event during the Rio games of 2016.”
Deva Moodliar, a long-time friend and fellow volleyball administrator, said Reddy, in his time as head of KZN Volleyball and Volleyball SA, gave many people the opportunity to grow in administration and as players.
Moodliar said Reddy was previously the coach of the KZN Men’s team, in the early 1990s and Tongaat-based Liberte, one of the country’s oldest volleyball clubs.
“He gained the respect of people for his professionalism, discipline and he was also very punctual.”
Moodliar also recalled Reddy’s caring nature.
“I remember in the old days when our teams had to travel to national tournaments by road, he would call every few hours to check how we were doing.”
Well-known Olympics figure Sam Ramsamy said he got to know Reddy in I993 and by 1997 he was well acquainted with his exploits as an administrator. As president of the old National Olympics Committee of South Africa (Nocsa), Ramsamy offered him a job with the organisation.
Reddy was still a teacher at the time. Ramsamy arranged for him to be seconded to Nocsa so he wouldn’t lose his benefits with the former Indian Education Department.
“He became our director of sport. Tubby was genuine, thorough and excellent in everything he did, and I liked that about him.
“While he still held onto the presidency of Volleyball SA, he was very knowledgeable about all codes of sport and that made things easier for me”
Ramsamy said Reddy progressed further at Sascoc and had good relationships with other administrators, the Lottery board, sponsors and ministers of sport.
Mark Alexander, the president of SA Rugby who has extensive experience in Olympics’ sport administration said Reddy’s contribution to South African sport and development of elite sport was immense.
“I was privileged to work with Tubby for several years at Sascoc, and I will miss his passion, skills, and commitment. He was single-minded and insightful about our sporting trajectory, and he made a difference.
Tubby lived the words of Nelson Mandela when he said, “Sport has the power to change the world,” said Alexander.
Adil Khan, Volleyball KZN’s president said: “We are saddened by the passing of a pioneer and leading light in our sport.”