Abide by constitution, warns ASA’s James Evans ahead of AGM

2013-11-24 06:00

Embattled Athletics South Africa (ASA) president James Evans has warned provinces to abide by the constitution ahead of Saturday’s annual general meeting.

This comes in the wake of threats from certain provinces to pass a motion of no confidence in the beleaguered ASA board.

Evans said he was aware that Boland Athletics were at the forefront of such a motion, but said the constitution did not provide for members to call meetings themselves.

“Boland Athletics have taken it upon themselves to call a meeting for the day before the AGM, as they forgot to propose any motions for the AGM. If they think they had the right to a meeting, there are procedures they have to follow. They can’t just ignore the constitution,” said Evans.

ASA’s finances will headline the Saturday agenda.

ASA will report a deficit when they table their financial statement as they are still reeling from a year in which the cash-strapped federation came under siege from athletes and suppliers over outstanding payments.

The athletics body is also facing a R3 million lawsuit from pole vaulter Jan Blignaut, who sued for a horrific injury he suffered while competing in a track and field championship in 2008.

There have also been questions around the R10 million broadcasting rights fee from the SABC, which were raised when the Soweto Marathon failed to take off early this month due to a lack of funding.

“I cannot comment on what the SABC paid us, but there is a misconception that the SABC money is play money to be spent frivolously. It is true that when the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee took over, R2.2?million was paid to Accelerate Sport.

The link with Gideon Sam is well-known.

“Also, other amounts which were open to dispute were paid immediately but genuine suppliers were not paid. What the bulk of the money was used for, however, was to pay staff their salaries, to send teams to events such as the World Youth and World Senior Championships and the African Junior Championships, and generally to run the sport.

“It certainly was not wasted.”

City Press has learnt that ASA has been paying into a provident fund for a former staff member who left the organisation almost four years ago.

Already, ASA has parted with a chunk of cash in settlement fees to their ousted CEO, Frik Vermaak.

Also expectedon the agenda was a proposal from the committee set up to revise the constitution to completely amend the constitution.

Evans said the idea was to replace the existing constitution with the one which blends the Companies Act, the IAAF Constitution and the National Sports Plan provisions.

Despite ASA receiving flak from some quarters, Evans described this year in athletics as “not bad, really”.

“We had successful track and field and cross country championships under trying circumstances. While the people who want to hammer ASA point to one medal at the World Championships, we point to the number of finalists and the fact that most of the team were first- timers and have been groomed for future success.”

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