Graeme Joffe

Graeme Joffe: Waging war against bad sporting practices in SA through humour and investigative reporting

JMS Alumnus Graeme Joffe has, since 2012, waged a war against SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee), which, his intensive research has shown, is the real enemy responsible for the downfall of sport in South Africa.

Graeme has been involved in sports media since his ‘varsity days. As a student, while doing his Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Graeme worked on Rhodes Music Radio presenting sports bulletins and honing the skills which saw him working as a World Sport Presenter for CNN in Atlanta, United States after completing his degree.

On his return to South Africa, Graeme presented for Supersport, South Africa’s premier sports broadcaster of local and international sporting events. Not forgetting his radio background, Graeme also spent eight years with 94.7 Highveld Stereo as a popular sports presenter. He was well-known for his presence on the breakfast show, The Rude Awakening, where his ‘stupid sports jokes’ were a highlight for many listeners.

During this period, Graeme became aware of the corruption within sporting circles. In 2013 he published his first exposé, in his regular column for Finweek, focusing particularly on the management and disbursement of funds from the National Lottery. His life changed dramatically after he brought his concerns to light in this manner. Shortly thereafter, his column was axed.

This was the first in an increasingly serious series of threats against him as he delved further into the corruption at the highest levels of South African sport. After receiving death threats in 2015, Graeme fled South Africa for the United States, taking with him only a suitcase and a laptop. He has continued the fight against corruption in South African sporting codes from across the Atlantic, noting that, “SASCOC is the biggest beneficiary of National Lottery funding; no athlete in South Africa should ever be short of funds. But it’s just amazing, in the last ten years, how many sporting federations have gone bankrupt, and how many athletes have had to pay their own way to represent their country.”

In 2020 Graeme released his investigative book, Sport: Greed and Betrayal with the aim of ensuring that corrupt practices by sports administrators are recognised, and that a fairer path for South African sports people can be carved out going forward.