Athletics: Skhosana at a loss for words

2011-09-15 00:00

PRESIDENT Aleck Skhosana and his KZN Athletics executive appear lost for words over the fraud uncovered in an audit report, and seem to be ignoring the plight of the province’s athletes while continuing with their own agendas.

After the executive meeting of September 7, where the audit report on one KZN project and three months of development showed prima facie evidence of fraud and mismanagement, Skhosana undertook to provide a media release and to inform the clubs of actions to be taken. One week down the line the executive have yet to explain the situation to the clubs or answer the questions that have been raised over the alleged misuse of public funding.

Although the report uncovered R90 000 in fraud in its very limited scope, it is believed that a full investigation over the period of the current executive will reveal fraud running into millions.

The provincial office has been left with only clerical staff at the helm since the finance and administration manager, Joyce Smith, and her assistant, Sandie Moses, went on indefinite special leave two weeks ago.

“We expect responsible staff to receive a charge sheet before the end of the week,” said Kevin Bradfield, the chairperson of the intervention committee appointed at the council meeting on June 25.

“It is likely that the disciplinary hearing by an independent labour consultant will begin before the end of September,” he said.

Meanwhile, confusion reigns among the 136 athletes selected to compete in the SA Cross-Country Championships in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Said Boxer team manager Rhyn Swanepoel, “A number of the top athletes were totally unaware of their selection until early this week, and then the details of their transport and accommodation were only settled yesterday …

“I have attempted to discuss the team support with Patrick Hlongwane, [chairperson of KZN cross-country] and e-mailed him last week, but he is away in Mputo with the All African Games.”

Although not yet announced to the clubs or members, it is understood that Hlongwane has been appointed vice president of KZNA by the executive. He is to replace the disgraced Simon Dlamini, who was removed from the sport by the Sascoc investigation into malpractice at ASA level.

Despite the financial and chaotic situation at provincial level, Hlangwane, who is representing the country in Mozambique, left without finalising the arrangements for the KZN cross-country team.

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