ASA’s James Evans refuses to accept his suspension

2013-12-20 12:54

The battle for control of athletics refuses to die down with Athletics SA (ASA) president James Evans flatly refusing to accept his suspension by the athletics governing body’s interim board.

The committee – led by KwaZulu-Natal Athletics president Sello Mokoena – last week placed Evans on suspension pending a disciplinary hearing.

The seven-member ad-hoc committee has already alerted the IAAF about the latest developments at the ASA.

City Press has seen a chain of emails between the interim structure and the IAAF.

Evans and his board were voted out by 16 out of 17 provincial affiliates during an AGM on November 30.

At that time, Evans had suspended five members of his board, but they took their battle to the courts where the South Gauteng High Court granted them temporary relief on the day of the AGM.

Evans and his deputy, Hendrick Ramaala, were in court when the AGM resolved to dissolve its board, which was left with three members – Evans, Ramaala and Geraldine Pillay.

However, in his latest fightback attempt, Evans argued, in correspondence with the IAAF, that the AGM “was invalid and no mandate could have been obtained from the same AGM”.

“A group of individuals calling themselves an ‘interim board’ of Athletics South Africa have been sending communications on ASA letterheads pretending to be acting on behalf of the federation. They have claimed that they were appointed at the annual general meeting of ASA after the board was purportedly removed,” he said.

But Mokoena told City Press they were unfazed by Evans’s move.

“I did not want to dignify the deceitful falsehoods written by the erstwhile former president who is serving a suspension for, among other charges, bringing the sport of athletics into disrepute,” said Mokoena, the president of Athletics KwaZulu-Natal.

“On the question of the IAAF, my correspondence with a member of the international parent body [on Wednesday], exposes and puts paid to his [Evans’s] calculated lies. His personal attacks on individuals, some of whom served ASA under his leadership, with ASA showing confidence in them while rejecting him, is repulsive.”

Mokoena accused Evans of sowing divisions rather than building unity in athletics.

“His hollow threats are old news, he has no intention of making good on them. The IAAF has been notified of his suspension pending a disciplinary inquiry against him. In a democratic and constitutional ASA AGM, 16 out of 17 provinces rejected and removed Evans from his position as president and board member of ASA,” said Mokoena.

Meanwhile, the IAAF is expected to visit the country on January 22 to meet the ASA and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee to resolve the impasse at ASA.

This came after Sascoc suspended the membership of ASA in June in terms of clause 9.3 of its articles of association. This gives the Olympic governing body the powers to suspend ASA for infringing the Sascoc constitution.

Sam Ramsamy, a member of South Africa’s International Olympic Committee, was subsequently appointed by the IAAF to resolve the matter of the ASA’s suspension along with Cheikh Thiare, the executive assistant to IAAF president Lamine Diack.

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