ASA leadership dispute: No end in sight

2014-01-05 06:00

The drawn-out leadership dispute of local athletics governing body Athletics SA (ASA) has carried over into the new year.

Beleaguered president James Evans has elevated the matter to the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (Afsa), the body that offers arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution.

Ironically, this is the second time Evans has turned to the Afsa. He first did so in March last year after being impeached by his board.

Evans said through a statement released on Friday that the ongoing dispute must be settled via arbitration.

“Because certain individuals are still claiming to have assumed control of ASA, and because they will not concede that they have not followed the law in doing so, it has become necessary to call for independent adjudication,” part of the statement read.

City Press tried to contact Afsa to establish if an arbitration case was registered, but a voicemail said its offices are only scheduled to reopen tomorrow.

However, the ASA’s interim committee chair Sello Mokoena said: “ASA does not have a president or vice-president at the moment. The federation, however, democratically and constitutionally dissolved the old board and replaced it with an interim board at its 2013 AGM. Evans is serving suspension and all members and stakeholders have been made aware and may not engage nor accept his claims.”

Mokoena said his board had a mandate from its members. “If any member does not like the mandate, they have an option to table the matter at the next ASA general meeting and not to run to the media or unconstitutionally seek arbitration where no dispute exists.”

Evans is questioning the validity of the November 30 AGM, and whether notice had been given of the resolutions to remove his board and replace it with an interim one.

On whether the interim board was recognised by sports authorities, Mokoena said: "We have made contact with all stakeholders, Sport and Recreation SA and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee are consulting and should revert by the end of the week. We have received correspondence from the Confederation of African Athletics yesterday (Friday) that they are still perusing documents and information sent to them. The IAAF are sending a delegation in or around January 22 and will make a decision thereafter."

Mokoena continued: "There is no reason for the above stakeholders to undermine the internal and constitutional ASA processes. It is for this reason that we are confident they all are tired of shenanigans and infighting in the ASA administration over the past 18 months of the previous board's tenure, and should be pleased that ASA has been given the opportunity by members themselves for turn-around."

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