Athletes still owed prize money

2013-11-07 00:00

THE winners of Durban’s Township to Township Marathon have not received their prize money two months after the Umlazi to kwaMashu race was held on September 2.

Winner Prodigal Kumalo from Zimbabwe was due to receive R40 000, but to this day, has yet to see even a cent of the money.

An upset Kumalo told The Witness yesterday that the experience had left a bad taste in his mouth as the non-payment had put a strain on his finances in his preparation for future races.

“I won the 2010 City to City Marathon from Pretoria to Johannesburg, and soon after, they transferred the prize of R30 000 to me,” Kumalo said, adding that this was the first time he has had to wait for so long.

“From previous experience, races tend to pay within two to three weeks,” he said.

Kumalo said his attempts to find out what was happening from the race’s organisers have not borne any fruit, as he has not been given an adequate explanation.

“I got hold of the organisers after the race, and they said they didn’t know when we would get paid as they had not yet received the money from their sponsors. After calling them again last week, they said we’d be paid soon, but we are still waiting.”

Mdu Khumalo, the manager for Phantane Athletics Club, which represented the winner and runner-up for the women’s half marathon — Zimbabwe’s Sithulise Zhou and Ntebaleng Letsela from Lesotho — was upset with the non-payment of the athletes, saying it reflected badly on him.

“I bring runners to races from Kenya, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, and they don’t know what is going on with their money when they don’t receive it, and it ends up reflecting badly on me,” he said.

Zhou and Letsela were due to receive R3 000 and R1 500, but Khumalo said he had to pay them a portion of the prize from his own pocket as he did not know when they would be getting paid. “We seem to have a problem in KZN because this does not happen in other provinces,” he said.

Sihle Shange, one of the race’s organisers, told The Witness they have been experiencing problems with their sponsors and hadn’t received the prize money in time.

“It wasn’t meant to happen this way, but we have been communicating with the runners. Unfortunately it was out of our hands,” he said, adding that the athletes were due to start getting their prize money from next week onwards.

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