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Brett Maselle Responds To Joey Soma

Intrigue in racing's corridors of power

Horseracing activist Brett Maselle has responded to the allegations and statements made by Joey Soma in his letter published by the Sporting Post on 23 April 2020.

Mr Soma’s letter can be found here.

The letter to the Sporting Post Mailbag from Maselle is published unedited below.

INTRODUCTION

Recently I was aggressively attacked and criticised by Joe Soma over a host of issues regarding horseracing.

In a letter to Spotting Post, Mr Soma endeavoured to extricate himself from his association with the infamous alleged fraudster, Markus Jooste and the constant adverse stigma that has followed him thereafter.

Mr Soma deflects and blames others. I promised a response to his false and distorted allegations. This is my retort.

To anyone who reads this letter, the contents hardly scratch the surface of what transpired.

The facts are plenty. The events started some 13 years ago.

I have tried to give some background to those who are unaware or have short memories.

CONCERNED OWNERS

The Concerned Owners Group (COG) was conceptualised at a meeting held in February 2007 at Gosforth Park. The meeting was attended by owners who were concerned and interested individuals involved in horse racing.

It was recognised that three directors of the Racing Association (“RA”), namely Mr Jooste, Chris van Niekerk and Alec Hogg were on the board of Phumelela which had recently announced the closure of Newmarket racecourse.

There were concerns about, among other things, that the directors of the RA were not acting in the best interests of owners and horse racing in general, as they were more interested in the share price of Phumelela.

A steering committee was formed. It was voluntary.

The committee consisted of Mr. Soma, the late Warren Laird, me, Jess Kyriacou, Ormond Ferraris, the late Ian Jayes, Daphne Beyers, Trevor Raath, Dave Scott and Larry Wainstein.

The steering committee needed to garner support and formulate a blueprint for the objectives of the COG. The committee dealt with various topics and tried to meet at least once a week. A vision document for COG was prepared, amended and adopted.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

It was identified by the steering committee that in 2005, and under the chairmanship of Mr van Niekerk, the RA unlawfully permitted special resolutions (“resolutions”) to be passed to remove provisions preventing directors of the RA from having conflicts of interest.

In 2005, no member was eligible to hold office as a director of the RA if that person was or was within a period of twelve months previously a trustee of the Racing Trust.

Furthermore, not more than two persons were eligible to serve as directors of the RA whilst also serving as directors of Phumelela.

When the unlawful resolutions were passed, all conflicts of interest evaporated and the door was opened for Mr van Niekerk and Mr Jooste to lift themselves into horse racing’s stratosphere.

For brevity purposes and ease of reference, I will henceforth refer to these two businessmen as the “Steinhoff two”.

For at least two years, the Steinhoff two had taken positions and advantage of the unlawfully passed resolutions in 2005.

At the time that the COG was formed, the Steinhoff two had grown in stature and were close to being the most influential people in the sport of horse racing and its business.

Their ascendancy was achieved through the RA door. I believe that had the unlawful resolutions not been adopted, the Steinhoff two would have had a few difficulties in building their influential horse racing empires.

In 2007, the then RA directors who had taken advantage of the unlawful removal of the entrenched articles were the following:

On the board of trustees for the Racing Trust were, the Steinhoff two and Michael Leaf.

On the board of directors of Phumelela were, the Steinhoff two and Mr Hogg. (Note: Mr Hogg, he was appointed as a director of Phumelela on 1 February 2007 and resigned on 24 June 2007. He stayed on as a director of the RA.)

In the COG vision document the following was stated: “…Simply, Mr Jooste and Mr van Niekerk should not be members of the Board of Directors of the RA. If they say that they would remain as directors of the RA, then it is incumbent upon them to remove themselves from the Board of Trustees and the Board of Phumelela. A choice will have to be made and that choice will show the true colours of these gentlemen”.

The Steinhoff two did show us the type of people they are.

They did not resign and remained on all the boards.

They dismissed the COG assertions and disputed that the resolutions were unlawfully passed.

Their attitude, and that of the RA directors, was made clear in an email to Mr Jayes wherein it was stated that legal advice had been taken that there was no substance to the allegations that the resolutions were invalid and until the contrary was proved, the RA board would assume that all resolutions adopted at the 2005 Annual General Meeting were duly and regularly adopted.

LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN THE RA BOARD

The views of the steering committee started to gain traction.

Support for the COG increased.

More than a hundred RA members requisitioned that a special meeting be held to remove the RA board by way of a vote of no confidence.

The RA board had no choice but to call for a meeting of members to decide on a no confidence vote.

The meeting was scheduled to be held at Gosforth Park on 2nd May 2007.

BACK-STABBING

On the Saturday or Sunday before the arranged day for the vote, Mr Wainstein and Mr Soma secretly met with the Steinhoff two. They did not tell the steering committee that they were going to meet nor did they ask permission to do so.

They acted unilaterally.

They then concluded an agreement that would not seek the removal of the RA’s board of directors

Mr Wainstein and Mr Soma had no right to do what they did.

Let me explain: Not only did they have no permission from the steering committee to meet or conclude an agreement, they had no permission from any of the RA requisitioning members to do what they did.

When I heard of this furtive, underhand meeting and deal, I made it clear that Mr Wainstein and Mr Soma had acted in a duplicitous unbecoming and inappropriate manner.

When confronted by the steering committee regarding their reprehensible conduct, they gave an incredulous response:

They said that they believed that the vote would go in favour of the RA’s board and everything the COG had set out to achieve would be lost. They said that they had achieved something as the Steinhoff two had promised that the RA board would meet with the steering committee in order to hear grievances and to consider them.

The steering committee trusted them and their underhandedness was unexpected.

Because the resolutions in 2005 were unlawfully passed, it was crucial that the Steinhoff two be removed from the RA board.

The RA was the stepping stone of the Steinhoff two, to be appointed to the boards of Phumelela and the Racing Trust and to remain of the RA board.

The deal with the Steinhoff two was a betrayal.

At the time we knew that there was something more to the meeting with the Steinhoff two and what they had told us.

Mr Wainstein and Mr Soma had sold out each and every requisitioner and everything for which the COG stood.

THE REMOVAL OF THE NO CONFIDENCE RESOLUTION

The meeting took place at 15h00. There were 185 members present plus about 8-gun toting security personnel brought by Mr. Jooste. There were 523 proxies in total of which the RA board were only prepared to accept 369.

The chairman of the meeting called for a proposal to remove the resolution from the vote.

This was proposed and seconded and a vote was taken by a show of hands.

There were many people who supported the COG that were left disappointed.

THE WHITEHOUSE MEETING

On Friday, 18 May 2007, a meeting took place with the steering committee and the RA board at the Steinhoff “Whitehouse”.

Each member of the steering committee took up a topic.

The topic of the “Removal of articles” was dealt with by me as the first issue on the Agenda after introductions. Mr Soma took the subject matter of “the Horse”.

By the time that this meeting was held, the devious efforts of Mr Soma and Mr Wainstein had reduced to the COG to nothing but a name.

Mr Wainstein, Mr Soma and Mr Raath had changed their principles.

They had warmed to the views of the Steinhoff two.

I left early because I had to take my son to a soccer tournament being held in Mafeking at the Mmabatho Sun Hotel. To me, family always comes first.

The meeting was farcical.

On the topic of the Steinhoff two and Mr Leaf holding office unlawfully, Mr Wainstein made it known that he believed the 2005 resolutions to be lawful.

Mr Raath felt that if the three directors were unlawfully on the board, steps should be taken to rectify the matter so that they could remain in office as they had made a worthwhile difference to the industry.

Mr Soma agreed with Mr Raath. For three months the steering committee had fought to persuade everyone that the resolutions were unlawful and that the Steinhoff two were bad for racing. Then, in one fell swoop, three steering committee members withdraw their views.

Regarding Mr Soma, he was only willing to please Mr Jooste. The minutes contain references such as:

“Mr Jooste said it would be helpful if Mr Soma could attempt to obtain support from Mr Ferraris in moving forward in a spirit of co-operation regarding the lights at Turffontein”.

“Mr Soma to report back to the RA to find out whether they could assist in resolving the matter.”

“Mr Jooste suggested that ……if Mr soma was not satisfied with reasons given, he could discuss the matter further with Mr Jooste who would address the problems with the Racing Trust.”

UNDISCLOSED TERMS

In his letter to the Sporting Post, Mr Soma talks about a concord between himself and Mr Wainstein with the Steinhoff two at the secret meeting.

He says that the Steinhoff two had agreed to give the COG representation on the RA board. Never before was this disclosed to me nor was it revealed to the steering committee. It took 13 years for this dastardly deal to emerge.

I suspected something untoward and sinister because I received an email from Michael Leaf in response to an email from me, where he asked “Are not 2 of your reps attending the RA board meeting” in the first week of July 2007.

The email was confirmation that Mr Wainstein and Mr Soma had not made full disclosure to the steering committee about their ugly deal.

I sent an email to Mr Wainstein dealing with the following: “Is the committee for the Concerned Owners Group still active? If so, who is running the show and who is part of the committee? I enquire about the above in light of ML‘s comments about 2 reps attending the RA board meeting next week. I know nothing about this meeting and who the alleged representatives of the COG may be. People cannot go to the RA stating they represent a group or have authority from a group without it being correct.”

As expected, there was no response from Mr Wainstein.

I found out that the person who attended the meeting with Mr Wainstein was Mr Raath. Upon enquiry, he feigned ignorance and said he went to the meeting as a guest of the RA board. Later, Mr Raath and Mr Wainstein stood for election as directors of the RA on a ticket endorsed by the Steinhoff two.

ELECTIONS

There were five spots available on the RA board of directors. Although sitting unlawfully, the Steinhoff two had decided to resign at the end of the 2007 AGM.

I was nominated to run and I accepted.

The RA members and candidates were informed on 1 October 2007 by way of Keeping Track of the candidates.

On 12 October 2007 a letter was sent to all members of the RA by the Steinhoff two. The letter stated: –

“From the Desks of Markus Jooste and Chris Van Niekerk

RACING ASSOCIATION ELECTIONS 2007

You are aware that we will be stepping down from the Board of the Racing Association at this forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

In accordance with the articles of the Racing Association, various nominations have been received for appointments to the Board to replace Board members who are standing down. We have given careful consideration to the nominations which have been received, and deem it necessary to address members of the Association in respect of such nominations.

Of the nominations which have been received, we strongly recommend that members vote in favour of the appointment of the following persons:

Derek L Brugman

Chris Gerber

Michael Leaf

Trevor B Raath

Larry Wainstein.

We believe that if the above persons were to be elected, the business and affairs of the Association would be left in the hands of a Board comprising members who are mindful of the long-term strategic needs of the South African horse racing industry and who are, at the same time, independent thinkers who will be directed only to the best interests of the Association.

This letter is addressed to you in our personal capacity as members of the Association. We believe it imperative that the future of the Association should be left in the hands of a Board that will not only build on the successes of the past, but will also apply innovative and independent thinking in devising the future strategies of the Association.

Yours sincerely

  • Markus Jooste               Chris van Niekerk”

The campaigning by the Steinhoff two for the chosen five was on a scale never seen before.

In addition to the letter the Steinhoff two paid for a full-page advert in the Sporting Post endorsing their five chosen candidates.

Furthermore, Grant Knowles, a well-known assistant of Mr Jooste, communicated with RA members garnering support for the chosen five.

The chosen five won the elections.

The Steinhoff two had their men in the RA.

COURT CASE AGAINST THE RA

Before the Steinhoff two bowed out, the members of the RA were asked at the 2007 AGM to pass another special resolution to ratify the unlawful resolutions (from the 2005 Annual General Meeting).

The resolution was passed but it ended up being unhelpful as the RA board failed to timeously register it with the Registrar of Companies.

In 2008, I, Mr Jayes and Jess Kyriacou and launched an application against the RA in the High Court which we won. The High Court declared that the resolutions passed by the RA at its annual  general meeting on 29 November 2005 were void and of no force and effect.

The application should not have been opposed by the RA. Mr Wainstein was the chairman of the RA. He has never explained why he had made such a U-turn regarding the validity of the resolutions. Hundreds of thousand of Rands were wasted by the RA in opposing the application. Moreover, despite the RA board advising its members -when the Steinhoff two were sitting on the board -that the resolutions of 2005 were valid and binding, the RA argued in court that it agreed that the resolutions were unlawful. The presiding judge had the following to say:

“The Racing Association opposed the declaratory orders sought by the applicant on the basis that it is indisputable that the two resolutions of 5 December 2007 are void at present. A declaratory order to that effect would be of no consequence. The court should not exercise its discretion in favour of granting a declaratory order in such circumstances. See Ex Parte Nel, 1963 (1) SA 754 (A) at 760B.

The declaratory orders sought in respect of the resolutions of 29 November 2005 will, so Mr Daniels submitted, be rendered moot if the condonation application is successful. Such an order should therefore not be granted at this stage. I do not agree. There is no clear concession on the papers that the 2005 resolutions are void.

The Racing Association adopt a “we do not know” approach. Mr Daniels eventually conceded in argument. If I understood him correctly, that the 2005 resolutions are indeed regarded as void by the Racing association. That somewhat ambivalent concession does not, in my view, disentitle the applicants to a declaratory order.

The validity of the resolutions effect the eligibility of some members to serve as directors of the Racing association. Legal certainty is important for all parties and it justifies the granting of a declaratory order….”

The judge also said in his judgment that: “Mr Basel’s submission that it was not shown that there was no quorum at the 2005 meeting is bold and untenable and cannot carry any weight…”

THE STEINHOFF TWO & THEIR MINIONS

The RA eventually got it right. But this did not help the Steinhoff two as the ratification could not correct their actions in the Racing Trust and Phumelela.

During the tenure of the Steinhoff two on the various boards, they were immersed in many questionable issues.

As examples:

The sale of Newmarket.

The sale of the Randjesfontein property from one RA subsidiary to another for R74,754,000.00 and the deregistration of the selling subsidiary as well as the mysterious wiping out of an amount of R12,124,674.00 owed by the RA to the subsidiary.

The rezoning regarding Randjesfontein.

Their involvement in the Racing Trust and changing the terms of the Trust Deed.

The acquisition of Kenilworth Racing by the Trust and for it to be managed by Phumelela. Mr. Wainstein and Mr. Soma put their full weight behind the Steinhoff two.

050423-N-6214F-004 Atlantic Ocean (April 23, 2005) - Aviation Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Courtney F. Godfrey runs behind the foul line as a Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II+, assigned to the ÒBulldogsÓ of Marine Attack Squadron Two Two Three (VMA-223), performs a vertical takeoff from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). The AV-8B is a high performance, single-engine, single-seat, Vertical/Short Take-off and Landing (V/STOL) attack aircraft. The AV-8B Harrier II+ is capable of night and adverse weather operations due to the addition of the AN/APG-65 multi-mode radar. The fusion of night and radar capabilities allows the Harrier to be responsive to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force's needs for expeditionary, night and adverse weather, offensive air support. Iwo Jima is currently conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Robet J. Fluegel (RELEASED)

For the support shown to the Steinhoff two, Mr Wainstein rose to lofty heights in horse racing.

He became chairman of the RA after the 2007 AGM.

He then became the acting CEO and eventually the full time CEO of the RA.

He received a handsome package.

Mr Wainstein was involved in businesses and endeavours that caused him to benefit greatly.

Since the days of Special Preview, Mr Soma has been known to be an able trainer. But one swallow does not make a summer.

In 2007 and for a few years before that Mr Soma was languishing at the bottom end of the trainers’ log.

To put it in simple terms he was like the majority, a labouring trainer. No one disputes that he was and is a good horseman.

But there are many good horsemen in horse racing. When I saw that Mr Jooste had given an authority to act for Mr Soma, the truth started to hit home.

THE HAPPY LANDING

Happy Landing was purchased on or about 5 April 2008 at the National Yearling Sales. It was purchased by Joe Soma Racing Stables CC for an amount of R525,000.00. I am open to correction, but, at the time, the amount spent by Mr Soma was the largest amount he had ever spent on a yearling.

At the time of the sales, the majority of horses that ran for Mr Jooste were owned by Mrs I & Mr MJ Jooste. Much later, the colours of Mrs I & Mr MJ Jooste were transferred to Mayfair Speculators (Pty) Ltd (Mayfair).

I mention this because Happy Landing was registered only in the name of Mr Jooste whose personal colours were distinctive from the “Mrs I & Mr MJ Jooste” and Mayfair colours. Simply, Mr Soma acquired Happy Landing for Mr Jooste.

Very few trainers trained for Mr Jooste at the time let alone Mrs IJ & Mr MJ Jooste.

The 2007 statistics tell a story.

According to the NHA, the following trainers trained for Mr Jooste and/or Mrs I & Mr MJ Jooste. (1) Charles Laird, with 124 wins, R12.3million in stakes and 2nd on the national log of trainers (top trainer in Gauteng); (2) Joe Ramsden, with 102 wins, R6.8 million in stakes and 3rd top trainer in the Western Cape; (3) Peter Miller, with 111 wins, R4.1 million in stakes and top Kimberley trainer.

Mr Soma was a very different kettle of fish: 12 wins, R744,000.00 in stakes and 91st on the national log of trainers. Does Mr Soma fit the profile? You can easily draw your own conclusions.

Mr Soma wants us to believe that “One year after the concerned owners had folded (i.e. 2007), at the 2008 NYS, approximately 15-20 trainers were given the opportunity by Markus Jooste to each buy one horse.”

Do you hear of any of the 15 to 20 trainers confirming this fact? The sales records and the NHA registrations certainly do not confirm this allegation.

Mr Soma thinks it is easy to try and exculpate himself from his strong connection with Mr Jooste. He forgets his teary-eyed appreciations extended to the great Mr Jooste.

Mr Soma is very different to the majority of trainers who eventually trained for Mayfair.

Firstly, when Mr Soma started to train for Mr Jooste, the latter had hardly been involved in breeding.

The majority of the trainers who started to train for Mayfair did so when Mr Jooste was entrenched in breeding and CTS. The main difference between Mr Soma and every other trainer is that they did not conclude an underhand deal with Mr Jooste and Mr van Niekerk which affected the rights of others.

With his connection to Mr Jooste, Mr Soma became a force within the industry liaison committee, as a trainer representative.

Mr Wainstein sat with him on such committee. With the breeding connections and purchasing power of Mr Jooste, Mr Soma was able to acquire good horse stock and move himself up the trainers’ log.

Over time, Mr Jooste in his various racing guises became the largest owner of horses in Mr Soma’s stable.

NIGHT RACING

This leads me to another issue which relates to night racing at Turffontein.

Shortly after the COG was formed and on 26 February 2007, the Gauteng Province granted Phumelela permission to undertake night racing at Turffontein.

The trainers at Turffontein were in an uproar. They banded together (except for one) and objected to night racing at Turffontein.

They addressed a joint letter to Phumelela which opposed night racing. They did not believe that it was in the best interests of the horses stabled at Turffontein to have night racing.

They got involved in the appeal of the decision to allow night racing. Mr. Soma was vociferous in his opposition to night racing.

As soon as the trainers and the Concerned Owners started to take steps to stop night racing, representatives of Phumelela started a campaign to make sure that night racing occurs.

Mr. Soma was the most malleable link. He had a horse injured at Turffontein in a freak accident and blamed the work undertaken by Phumelela for night racing as the cause.

The horse had to be put down. Phumelela denied liability.

Mr. Soma wanted compensation for the loss of the horse. Despite the NHA rules and operators’ conditions exonerating Phumelela from liability for such an incident, Mr. Soma negotiated a settlement.

Mr. Soma informed me that he had negotiated an R80,000 payment for a horse that was purchased for R20,000.

Around the same time, Mr. Soma had a change of view about night racing and signed his notice of withdrawal of his appeal to the granting of the authority for night racing. This took place 3 weeks before any other trainer based at Turffontein.

All the Turffontein trainers except for Ormond Ferraris were at the mercy of Phumelela. Mr. Ferraris showed me a document indicating the Turffontein rent roll of trainers.

Their tenure as trainers stabled at Turffontein was at risk. Phumelela representatives informed these trainers that the failure to pay rentals entitled Phumelela to cancel the trainers lease agreements and to have them evicted.

The trainers were also told that Phumelela was considering the possible closure of Turffontein as a training facility and the relocation of them to others centres.

Not unexpectedly, the trainers at Turffontein, except for Mr. Ferraris, did an about turn and withdrew their appeals and opposition to night racing.

MY RESPONSES  

There is a lot more that I can say.However, I think I have made my point.

Below I deal with the false comments of Mr Soma that I promised to answer. I do so directly.

Mr Soma – Leading up to the so called “secret meeting”, you forget to mention how we all sat on the phone, trying to canvas for votes and proxies. If we had more than 12 come through, it was a lot. The lack of support- by owners on the RA books- for the Concerned Owners was alarmingly low. We knew we were no- where.

Me -I note that you acknowledge that the meeting was secret. I never sat on the phone trying to canvas for votes. I spoke to a few people that I knew. We discussed employing professionals to assist. You conveniently forget that Mr Wainstein volunteered the services of his staff at GVSC to call members of the RA. Your allegation of the COG getting no more than 12 votes or proxies is farcical. It also strikes me as odd that leading up to the secret meeting you had with the Steinhoff two, you allegedly knew the numbers in support of the no vote were low. The COG garnered 114 proxies to call for the special general meeting to remove the RA directors. You also forget what Mr Wainstein told the whole word during the interview with Robin Bruss about the magnitude of the support that the COG had. Read above and see the number of the proxies that were sent in for both sides at the meeting on 2 May 2007. At that stage the COG did not know the exact numbers regarding support for either side as RA members were required to send their proxies to the RA for them to be valid and used for voting purposes. If you are to be believed, you and Mr Wainstein had to be privy to information which neither the steering committee nor the average RA member had.

Mr Soma-In the so called “secret meeting”- the CO committee were all given a call by Larry Wainstein/ myself, to vote on whether we withdraw the request for the resignation of the RA Board at the up and coming TBA complex meeting. In this so called “secret meeting” they had agreed to give us strong representation on the RA board and wanted to work in partnership with the Concerned Owners. You and JessK were strongly opposed to it, but were outvoted by the rest of us. From that day on, you, the Late Ian Jayes and JessK had your own agenda, in my opinion.

Me- It is easy to make up false stories after 13 years have passed. Firstly, it is denied that all the steering committee members were given a call by you or Larry Wainstein to withdraw the request for “resignation” of the RA board. You and Mr Wainstein took it upon yourselves to meet with the Steinhoff two without first informing the steering committee. Your allegation that in your clandestine meeting, the RA board had agreed to give the COG strong representation and wanted to work in partnership with the COG is something that has never before been disclosed. Why didn’t’ you and Mr Wainstein reveal this to me or the other members of the steering committee? In the court papers, the quisling conduct of you and Mr Wainstein was mentioned as well as what you had told the steering committee about the meeting. I repeat; you and Mr Wainstein never made disclosure about the COG or the steering committee getting strong representation on the RA board. If this was discussed at your clandestine meeting, you and Mr Wainstein certainly pulled the wool over all of our eyes and failed to mention it. Why did Mr Wainstein and Mr Raath choose to run for election on a ticket endorsed by the Steinhoff two and not with the other steering committee members such as for example me, Mr Jayes, Mr Kyriacou and Mr Scott? Never before had a cluster of people joined to run for office in the RA as group. Mr Kyriacou and I were the most vocal about your furtive meeting but we knew nothing about your underhanded deal that you have now disclosed. What else have you intentionally forgot to tell us in 13 years? On the ridiculous allegation that I, Mr Kyriacou and Mr Jayes had a hidden agenda, I would love to know of it as I have been one of the most transparent individuals in horse racing.

Mr Soma –When we were at the TBA complex meeting, but before the request to withdraw the vote was tabled, why have you failed to mention, throughout all these years (and I ask all the other owners who attended the meeting to come forward)- who stood up to defend and protect Markus Jooste/ Chris Van Niekerk and his board, and those same people reiterated how brilliant they were for our industry?

Me Are you too afraid of mentioning the names of the people who stood up for the Steinhoff two and the RA board? Are you worried that if you mention their names, they may not like their past support of the Steinhoff two to be aired, and as result they may never send you horses to train? I am not sure why you raise this issue. We know that many RA owners supported the RA board and many did not. The difference is that the people who stood up to support the RA board were unaware of all the facts and in particular the surreptitious deal that you and Mr Wainstein concluded for yourselves. By the way, no one (except for you) ever said that the then RA board was brilliant for the industry.

Mr Soma – We were all invited to The Whitehouse/ Steinhoff (Parktown) offices and given the opportunity to air our grievances, and to discuss the way forward by working hand in hand. I will never forget how in that meeting you had every opportunity to go head to head against Jooste (who, I believe you never liked)/ Van Niekerk or any other director on that RA board. Unfortunately, you chickened out, left the meeting after introductions, with the excuse that you had to fetch your son from a football practice.

MeIf you read above, you will see why I left the meeting. I left the meeting after discussing the unlawful resolutions of 2005. Each person of the steering committee had a topic. I was not needed after my topic. I was one of many people in the meeting. Everyone was entitled to be heard. Your reversal of views, your change of principles and acquiescence to mostly everything said by the Steinhoff two will never be forgotten by the steering committee. On the “chickening out” aspect, the minute of the meeting shows something very different to what you say. You and Mr Wainstein sat and watched Mr Jayes being unfairly intimidated and kept your orifices shut. The following exchange took place.

Mr Jooste said that this matter had only been brought to the attention of the Racing Association some four weeks ago. He and Mr van Niekerk had meet with their advisers and their advice was that this board is properly constituted. As regards the public attack by Mr Jayes, this matter had been handed over to the attorneys and legal proceedings would be instituted.

Mr Maselle said that it was not only Mr Jayes who had said that the board was not legal, he had spoken and written to many people in this regard and felt that if the RA were going to institute legal action against Mr Jays then such action should be taken against him as well. Mr Jooste thanked Mr Maselle for this advice and undertook to consider this matter. Mr Jooste said that the persons present should not that the legal action was being taken by himself and Mr van Niekerk in their personal capacities and not as directors of the Racing Association.”

Mr Soma –Brett- not long after that meeting, did Clyde Basel (the then CEO of the RA) not sit down with certain members of the concerned owners group, and begged and pleaded with you Adv Maselle- to join the board as a director, alongside Larry Wainstein, Trevor Raath and Andy O’Connor/ The result was…. you blatantly refused.

Me Look at the time line. As at 6 August 2007, Clyde Basel commenced working for the RA as its General Manager. This happened 3 months after the meeting at Gosforth Park was held to remove the RA directors. I do not believe or recall that the steering committee of COG had any other meeting after the 18 May 2007. It is clear that what you set out herein is a figment of your imagination. Are you seriously saying that Clyde Basel who was not working for the RA and who was employed by Phumelela was doing the work of the RA board and inviting me to join the RA board with Mr Wainstein, Mr Raath and Mr O’Connor? This is nonsense. One thing I can tell you is this: After what you and Mr Wainstein did to the COG (and ultimately horse racing), I certainly would not work with you again.

Mr Soma    Brett – for 12 years, I have watch how you have conducted yourself. And I need to know how has the HORSE RACING industry benefitted from your so called contributions? You have been given enough opportunities to make a difference by joining either the RA or NHRA. But believe you were too scared to get into the scrum. You are no different to JessK. Did you ever put horse racing first? I would say, no!

Me –I am not sure why you have raised the significance of my contributions to horse racing. I have never tried to make an issue of my contributions. You being a trainer does not make you a better contributor to horse racing than anyone else. You have made your livelihood out of training. As an owner in your stable I contributed to your livelihood. Thanks for showing me what you think of your patrons. Unlike you and Mr Wainstein, I have taken nothing from horse racing. I have only given. My door has always been open to assist horse racing. You and your masters preferred other doors and individuals. By the way, what do you understand the words “horse racing“to mean? If I look after 5 horses that have been cast out by trainers and owners after their racing careers, have I done nothing for horse racing? You and Mr Wainstein went out of your way together with the Steinhoff two, to besmirch and sully my name and reputation. Your comments show that you continue to do so.

Mr Soma    Brett- you continually amaze me that ONLY yesterday, we found out about your court case against the RA. Why have you allowed a court order to not be honoured after venting so much against Larry Wainstein from the day he took office?

MeEveryone knows that you are not Mr Coma. You have not been unconscious for 13 years. You have known about the court case since day one. Your and Mr Wainstein’s nefarious deal was a part of the court case. The RA notified its members about the court case and its loss. The media reported on the court case. You do not live in la la land. Your statement that you only knew about the court case (the day before your comment) is untenable and untrue.

Mr Soma     And lastly Brett, I have tried to fathom out why everybody appears to be so scared of you, when you are not even a participant in this previously great industry – that is, not a colour holder, not a member of the RA or any other horse racing association around the country?

Me – Wow! Everyone is scared of me. What nonsense! Thank goodness that you do not speak for everyone in horse racing. Until 31 July 2019, I was a full participant in horse racing. Today, I am a person who enjoys taking a pick 6 or having a few Rand on a horse. I remain very much a participant and interested in horse racing. You do not have to be an owner or member of the RA or any other horse racing association to be a participant.

T & C’s

If anyone thinks that I have caused them any recognisable legal harm by anything that I have said in this piece (which I deny), you are welcome to institute legal action against me. There will be no need to send a letter of demand. I know that a few of my friends are hoping that action is instituted against me as this will allow the truth to come out.

  • Authored by Brett Maselle on 31/05/2020

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