ASA bosses in bitter war

2013-02-24 10:00

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The stand-off has precipitated special meeting on March 9.

Battle lines are drawn between the two Athletics SA (ASA) top dogs – president James Evans and his deputy Hendrick Ramaala.

Ironically, the two are qualified lawyers.

Their duel has seen the ASA board call for a special general meeting on March 9 in which they plan to table a motion of no confidence in Evans.

However, a defiant Evans put his foot down and told City Press on Friday that the meeting will happen over his dead body.

“They didn’t follow the constitution and I doubt if it will happen. I don’t know what they are trying to achieve. They must come up with proper allegations,” he said.

To which Ramaala retorted: “The meeting was requested by the (council) members and they followed the constitution. He (Evans) must attend because there are serious allegations against him.”

There is only one item on the February 15 notice for the March 9 meeting: “Request for removal of board member in terms of Article 17 and impeachment in terms of Article 19 of ASA’s constitution”.

Evans argued that there was a proper board remuneration policy and “members get compensated for the time they put in”.

He also laughed off allegations that he was influencing provincial leaders to boycott the meeting.

Things between the president and his deputy came to a head when Ramaala led a delegation without Evans to a meeting with Sascoc last week, to ask for a bailout to remedy their cash flow crisis.

He said they went ahead in the absence of Evans – who was in Kenya attending a Central African Athletics meeting – because the meeting was a follow-up to the first that was held in December when Evans led the team.

One of the prerequisites from Sascoc was that ASA must submit their financial statements so that their financial managers can work together.

Sascoc president Gideon Sam said: “We don’t want to be seen as causing their problems. It took us time and money in the first phase and we can’t do it again.

“They must just submit the names of athletes who qualify for the world championships (in Moscow in August) while they resolve their problems. Our financial officer Vinesh Maharaj and (CEO) Tubby Reddy are getting to the bottom of their financial problems with their financial manager (Terrence?Magogodela).

Sam said Magogodela had submitted an affidavit with all financial details.

Magogodela refused to comment, saying it was confidential.

Evans said he was yet to see the affidavit.

Some of the officials who were present at the meeting with Sascoc last week told City Press that around R760?000 was agreed upon as a settlement agreement, which was reached between Evans, ousted chief executive Frik Vermaak and former general manager Molatelo Malehopo.

ASA’s pressing financial position came to the fore late last year when they asked for a financial bailout from Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

The athletics governing body conceded that they were R4.3?million in the red and also owed athletes prize monies from as far back as the SA 21km and Marathon Champions in May last year.

The board last year appointed a committee to find ways of servicing the debt.

The committee had recommended that ASA should go back to creditors and renegotiate, and, if all else fails, they must sell their headquarters in Houghton.

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