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NHA AGM – Mark Sham Fined R30 000

Has right of appeal against finding and penalty

Mark Sham leads in a winner at Hollywoodbets Scottsville (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The National Horseracing Authority confirms that at an Inquiry held at its offices on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, colour holder and stable employee Mr Mark Sham was charged with a contravention of two rules.

These are Rules 72.1.25 and 72.1.26.

The particulars being that he conducted himself in an improper manner on racecourse property, which might have had the effect of discrediting horseracing and which did or might have brought into disrepute the good name of the National Horseracing Authority on 15 January 2020 at the 138th Annual General Meeting held at its offices at Turffontein Racecourse.

Mr Sham pleaded not guilty to the charge, but was found guilty of the charge.

The Board after considering the evidence led, and taking into account the arguments in aggravation and mitigation, ruled that Mr Sham be fined the sum of thirty thousand rand (R30 000) of which fifteen thousand rand (R15 000) is suspended for a period of twenty-four months, provided that Mr Sham is not found guilty of a similar offence under these Rules during this period.

Mr Sham has the right of appeal against both the finding and the penalty imposed.

  • Press release published by NHA on Tuesday 11 February 2020

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22 comments on “NHA AGM – Mark Sham Fined R30 000

  1. Cecil says:

    Mr Sham, appeal, you did plead not guilty…

    I am probably way off the mark, but wonder if you going public last year, had any influence on this charge…

  2. Tracy Low says:

    What did he actually do ?

  3. Gman says:

    Geez trainers and jockeys r getting fined nd suspended left and right.What is happening.

  4. Pieta says:

    This is obviously a new tactic to excuse their incompetence.
    We all know there needs to be change…..and another shining suit it not going to do it….we need TOTAL change in SA racing from the top.
    Below I am mentioning a few names that can make a difference and for me the only ones to create change and to remove the current fat cats…(not in any order)

    G.Woodruff………T Spies…….D.Sampson……S Pettigrew…….O. Ferraris…….S Randolph……Charl Pretorius……A Marcus…….Zietsman Oosthuizen…..Robyn Louw…….Hollywoodbets……D Campbell……L Goosen….Dorrie and Mark Sham…..R Sage……M Bass……B Crawford…..D Drier…..P Kruger……B Marcus…..V Marshall…..M Roberts…..G v Zyl……Y Govender…..B Prestage….C Snaith…S Reid……H Crawford…..P Steyn …A Steyn…..Adv Maselle…

    You need a nucleus of these respected and experienced people to run racing from the TOP.
    I have excluded many as they are already there and need to make way.

  5. Vicke p says:

    Please let us know who are these bunch of (*edited) who impose draconian punishment and dish out horrendous fines governed by rules that surely needs urgent attention..what’s going on is a runaway train destined to damage the industry. Shamefully and singlehandedly by the abhorrent decisions of those who purport to have the industry’s best interest at heart..the bulk of the rules in direct conflict of the Constitution of the land..absolute bull (**edited) that the same old farts sit as presiding officers paid by the institution they purport to protect..what a farce…

  6. Mayen Naidoo says:

    The first change should be to ban trainers for life for doping. That is cheating public and enriching themselves. Only two trainers that got warned off to my memory is the Late Jean Heming and Mark Watters. There are dozens of them got caught paid the fines and some of them are languishing in the top 10 in the country. Not a good advertisement for SA racing

  7. One is not allowed to criticize their incompetence because you will get the stick…

  8. Brian says:

    What did he do? I know Ed, you have a policy of not being controversial etc but neither do I believe, as has been shown in the past, this forum has a policy of regurgitating press release from your readers most hated authority

    So what did he do?

  9. Ralph Fell. says:

    Mayen Naidoo. ‘Languishing in the top 10’ would be construed as an oxymoron. No slight intended that the word contains ‘moron.’ Nonetheless I find the post ludicrous and, yet again, a bitter punter talking via his wallet.

  10. Editor says:

    Mr Mark Sham sent this statement to the Sporting Post for our comments platform.

    It is published as received:

    The charge was brought because in the AGM held in the NHA Boardroom (The Holy Grail of rooms) I showed no respect.
    Mr Vee Moodley was very arrogant and intimidating throughout the meeting and after being belittled by him 3 times I finally snapped.
    An advocate told him that he was not above the law…
    VM replied “ don’t tell me how to run my business”
    I then said “ In other words Mr Moodley , you can do as and what you please?”
    VM replied “ yes I can, I am the CEO”
    I said “stick your business , I can’t listen to this s**t anymore” and left the meeting
    The fine is heavy because I showed disrespect to the “room”
    I have appealed

    1. karel says:

      Shades of Trump?

  11. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Wow, what an arrogant ….

    My youngest son saw this CO on Tellytrack and said, there is Emo Adams, the Comedian… 😂

  12. Rian says:

    We believe you Mr Sham, as you have no reason to be untruthful and wonder why it took three times, you should called him to face you at dawn the next day
    You have been running a good business for years
    The Rocket man has been driving a simple business to run into the drop toilets since he took over with so many promises it’s amazing to watch his demise from accountant , handicapper, punter, to big bull ( you can add last word)
    The Calibre of so called professional team leads a lot to be desired, especially the CEO

  13. Brian says:

    Mr Sham, please for the sake of racing, take the lack of transparency, he promised that and has never delivered, to a real court.

    His royal arrogance needs a good lesson. I bet you could get a crowd funding going to get rid of his lack of transparency and royal arrogance to the racing public

    Good on you Ed! Well done!

  14. Joe Knowles says:

    Ralph Fell …..You seem obsessed with the word moron , yet you are the real moron here.
    In other sport like athletics etc doping can mean a lifetime ban .
    You need to remove the blinkers and check previous records on trainers who have been fined for positives and paid up but still continue to operate.
    Don’t use spin on somebody whose intentions are good, it shows you up positively as being a bed-fellow to the offenders.

  15. Joe Knowles says:

    Ralph Fell …..You seem obsessed with the word moron , yet you are the real moron here.
    In other sport like athletics etc doping can mean a lifetime ban .

    You need to remove the blinkers and check previous records on trainers who have been fined for positives and paid up but still continue to operate.
    Don’t use spin on somebody whose intentions are good, it shows you up positively as being a bed-fellow to the offenders.

  16. Frans says:

    is it not sad that, like every thing else in this crippled country of ours, we see the NHA staffed by arrogant politically appointed individuals who in any normal society would struggle to be gainfully employed ( never mind holding the position of CEO).
    Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?

  17. Preston says:

    Mr Sham , in what capacity did you act in. If you are shareholder and you expressed such concerns, then that fall outside the armbits because the CEO and Board of Directors are accountable to the shareholder and not vice versa.

  18. Casey Clarke says:

    “The good name of the NHA”….. 😂😂…. give me a break!

  19. Michael Jacobs says:

    I blame the racing industry for the ego-mania of Vee Moodley. This guy has been allowed to run rampant in the industry because he was given the rein to do so. Who keeps appointing him to all these senior positions in the industry? He has been a racing executive, Betting World executive, marketing head, handicapper, Phumelela executive, every single senior job in the industry, and now he’s untouchable at the racing authority. When his term is up, he should not be offered another job in this industry, he has been at the forefront of the demise of horse-racing over the past 2 decades.

  20. Ian says:

    The NHA’s name and reputation has for some time been in the gutter.
    Inconsistent application of rules and penalties, victimization of stakeholders, highly questionable employment practices resulting in unqualified individuals being appointed to senior positions.
    It is these practices that have brought the “good name of the NHRA into disrepute” and not the individual stakeholders who seek to challenge the NHRA on various issues.
    I applaud Mark and others who stand up to this dictatorial, autocratic and confrontational organization.

  21. Steve Reid says:

    This AGM always had my interest when the fall out between Mark Sham and the NHA took place and which subsequently resulted in a ludicrous fine, a fine that is higher than some trainers receive for being caught with a positive. I have gone through the official minutes and must admit to being highly amused to read that Mark Sham had “abruptly” left the meeting and no more. It was clear that this did not represent an accurate account of what went down. I have finally managed to get a voice recording copy of the NHA AGM and this is how the meeting in fact went down.

    The background to Mark Shams penalty

    Dorrie Sham had addressed the AGM about an event that had happened at a hearing in Port Elizabeth in late 2016. She had been found guilty of a positive and had received a hefty fine and had been asked to pay a portion of the hearing costs. She said that in the time that it took her to walk from the hearing to her stables ( I would guess around a kilometer ) a press release was out and the Sporting Post already had the story online. She had been labelled a drug artist and her reputation had been impaired due to this. The Shams then consulted an advocate and the finding and sentence was appealed. On 13 February 2017 she received a letter from Arnold Hyde stating that the review board had set aside both the finding and penalty imposed. Dorrie then stated that there was never a press release stating that she had been vindicated. At this point Vee Moodley interjected and here I am going to document verbatim what was said:

    Vee : Mr Chairman can I respond to that?”

    Truter : ” Ahh, yes certainly”

    Vee : ” So, OK so obviously this happened when I was not around but I had a look at that and I saw this part of Mr Shams email in the public domain. So I went through that information and I got the press release in front of me, So being the neutral person and let’s leave Arnold out of it. Enquiry into D A Sham – Mrs Sham pleaded guilty to the charge.”

    Dorrie : “I did not actually plead guilty to the charge”

    Vee : ” No no. I can’t go there”

    Dorrie : ” No I’m not going down there I’m just saying Mr. Moodley.”

    Vee : “Listen let me answer your question first. Im reading this neutral.”

    Mark Sham : “So why didn’t you make a press release?”

    Vee : “No no. You can’t tell me how to run my business. You can’t do that. Let me finish first.”

    Mark Sham : ” So you can do what you like?”

    Vee : ” I’m the Chief Executive”

    Mark Sham : ” Ah, stick your business. Let’s go.”

    Dorrie – inaudible

    Mark Sham ” NO NO NO Let’s go.”

    Now there’s a lot of distorted vocals but clearly its getting heated.

    Dorrie Sham : ” Carry on Mr Moodley. Please. Carry on Mr, Moodley, I asked the question”

    Truter : ” Mr Sham..”

    Mark Sham : ” I don’t need to listen to shit from you”.

    Mark Sham leaves meeting.

    So far so good and you can understand why Mark Sham got charged under the standard 72.1.26. There is a major extenuating circumstance though and this blows the whole situation wide open. I have acquired a copy of the minutes of the hearing in Port Elizabeth in 2016 where Dorrie was found guilty. Taken from these minutes:

    Chairman : “OK Mrs. Sham, Mr Jones and I have debated the issue and we feel at this stage we’re going to charge you and take the matter further from there. I will now formally re-do the charge to which I presume you going to plead not guilty. You Mrs. Sham are charged with a contravention of
    rule 73.2.7 in that you were the person responsible for the horse MR HANSEN when out of competition blood sample taken from this horse at your racing stables at Fairview on the 29 July 2016 disclosed upon analysis the presence of Flunixin is a prohibited substance class 4 substance in terms of the rules of the National Horseracing Authority. You plead?”

    Dorrie : “Not guilty.”

    So regardless of whether the press release that Vee was quoting from at the AGM was inaccurate or altered, it clearly was incorrect. As such, I have every sympathy with Mark Sham for losing his cool. His trials and tribulations with Vee around the NHA’s impotence in addressing a defaulter who the Shams obtained a default judgement against is well documented. How an enquiry board could find Mark Sham guilty under these conditions, smacks of a very impartial witch hunt. There is no way that this will stand up in any unbiased court. The right thing to do would be for apologies all round and move on with no censure. Will it happen? No doubt there isn’t the maturity to admit fault, and more legal fees will be spent on protecting reputations and egos.

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