Frustration mounts as KZNA ignore calls from clubs for Carbineers’ John Hall to be sent to ASA elections

2011-07-28 00:00

ATHLETICS clubs throughout the province are expressing their disgust at the arrogance of KZN Athletics president Aleck Skhosana and his executive, who are ignoring around 30 nominations from clubs for John Hall, chairperson of Natal Carbineers, to represent the province as a delegate to the ASA elections on Saturday.

Since late last week clubs from all corners of the province have been submitting nominations to the KZNA Office supporting Hall.

On Monday night, however, in response finance and administration manager Joyce Smith, who is at the centre of the allegations of fraudulent invoices, wrote to some of the clubs stating that the constitution gave the power of selection of delegates to the executive.

The notification went on to name executive members Patrick Hlongwane and Sipho Mkhathini as their chosen delegates.

The reaction from clubs was instantaneous.

“Is this despite what the majority of the clubs in KZNA want? So basically, regardless of the clubs’ opinions, what they [the clubs] say/feel does not matter?” wrote an irate chairperson from northern KZN in reply.

Another response copied to all clubs sought clarification from Smith:

“Please could you advise if KZNA executive are just simply not listening or understanding what it is that their clubs are requesting? It is quite evident by the number of votes received from the clubs that John Hall was the preferred representative. How do we allow people to represent us when there isn’t even a vote of confidence in the ‘election process’?

“It begs the question — Are we here to serve the best interests of athletes or are we here to serve individuals?”

Paul Mannix, chairperson of the Mtunzini club, agreed. “This is a totally unacceptable situation. The tail is now wagging the dog! Athletics is the key word, not individuals.”

In a open letter, runner Charlie Harvey brought the concerns at KZN Athletics to the attention of the athletics family of South Africa.

The letter has also been sent to Tubby Reddy, CEO of the South African Confederation of Sport and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), the secretary of the Parliamentary Sports Portfolio Committee, and the Ministry of Sport and Recreation (DSR).

The DSR have used public funds in sponsoring many of the KZN Athletics projects, including over R600 000 for the 2010 National Youth Run where the invoicing irregularities were initially discovered.

The move to see their chosen delegates at the ASA elections on Saturday is seen as yet an effort by Skhosana to secure votes for his bid to take over Athletics South Africa as either president or vice president.

Since last weekend the clubs have been petitioning for the full executive and president to stand aside so that investigation can go ahead unhindered.

The petition also calls for Skhosana and runner Blanche Moila to withdraw from all national and international activities and for ASA to withdraw accreditation to the KZN delegates at Saturday’s elections.

Over 40 clubs have supported the call.

Frustration is mounting against Comrades chairperson Peter Proctor, Moila and 1992 New York marathon winner Willie Mtolo, who despite having been briefed on the situation and available evidence, continue to sit in silence on the executive.

Runners believe that Moila is only staying because it seems she is about to be nominated by ASA to the IAAF.

They question how it is possible that a person, who by her lack of action, seemingly condones the alleged fraud, can be allowed to operate at ASA level, let alone be promoted to international level.

The Comrades Marathon is also being associated with the executive’s actions.

Peter Proctor sits on the executive by virtue of being Comrades Marathon chairperson.

“What is Proctor doing? The copied invoices and other documentation have been shown to clubs. It is obvious that a full investigation is required,” said Andre Booysen of Collegians Harriers.

“… Proctor is now muddying the good name of Comrades Marathon. He should be taking a lead in standing aside for the duration of the investigation. Saying and doing nothing is the same as saying you support what’s going on,” he said.

“I’ve read about the [alleged] fraud and corruption in KZN athletics. I’m so annoyed that Comrades [Marathon] are associated with this,” said Angus Hudson, a Comrades runner and past chairperson of Johannesburg’s Morningside club.

Leonard Chuene, the disgraced previous ASA president, is still acknowledged at Comrades Marathon house as a life member with honours.

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