Athletics SA owes tax man

2013-05-07 16:55

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Athletics South Africa (ASA) owes the South African Revenue Service (Sars) millions of rands in outstanding tax payments, dating back to 2001.

Today, ASA administrator Zola Majavu disclosed that the beleaguered athletics governing body must pay at least R1.6?million to bring its Sars debt up to date.

Sars has the right to attach to recoup what is due to it, if ASA fails to to honour its debt.

“We are experiencing serious compliance issues with with regards to Sars – I have received confirmation from Sars that 2001; 2002; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012 and 2013 (returns) are still outstanding,” Majavu said during a press conference at Athletics House in Houghton, Johannesburg.

“We have attracted huge interest and penalties and the amount that I need to pay to bring us up to date is around R1.6?million. ASA has been making deductions (of pension benefits) from employees and not taken (them) over to Sars. This is fraud and someone is knocking on the jail door.”

These startling revelations add to the financial quagmire ASA is currently facing, including a R2.6?million lawsuit from an athlete who got injured while in competition.

Pole vaulter Jan Blignaut is suing for R2.6?million and ASA did not defend itself.

“The merits part is done and the court said we (ASA) are liable,” said Majavu, adding that ASA did not take out insurance for athletes.

Laying bare the state of financials at ASA, Majavu revealed that the embattled federation currently had R10?million in its coffers.

“The amount of money that is in the kitty is not nearly enough to cater for all our debts. There is a plethora of creditors of ASA that, if all of them were to demand their money here and now, we would practically be bankrupt.”

These revelations were also snippets of a report Majavu submitted to the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) on Monday, 15 days since he assumed office as administrator.

He attributed ASA’s financial troubles to:

» Money due to its former employees, who in terms of either a CCMA settlement agreement or court orders, should have received huge sums;

» Commission due from a broadcasting deal – which runs into millions – that should have been paid;

» Lawyers fees owed since last year;

» Auditors of ASA; and

» Outstanding athletes prize monies that amount to around R400?000 – there are three batches of athletes that have not been paid dating to the SA 21km and 42km marathons, as well as the Soweto Marathon.

Majavu said he was unable to speed up payments, especially those of athletes, as “someone had instructed the bank not to give me access”.

Sources within the federation alleged that impeached ASA president James Evans was behind the move.

Evans did not respond.

His court application to be reinstated was dismissed with costs by the Gauteng North High Court last week.

Evans and his entire board remain suspended while Majavu is in charge of athletics administration.

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