Athletics SA at another election crossroad

2014-06-06 15:24

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Athletics SA is once again at a crossroad as it elects a board to take it forward at a special general meeting in Joburg tomorrow.

Since the suspension of former ASA president Leonard Chuene and the board in 2009 over their handling of the Caster Semenya gender saga, the embattled federation has been overseen by three interim boards.

Tomorrow’s elected board will only stand until 2016, which would give it limited time to get the sport back on track.

A seven-member ad hoc committee has been in charge of ASA for the past three months – since the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) representative Cheikh Thiare found there was a stalemate between leadership factions and declared that ASA had come to a standstill.

On his visit to South Africa in February, Thiare met with the ASA council, represented by 15 of 17 provinces and an ASA general assembly, which included ASA president James Evans’ depleted board and one mandated provincial member.

The recognised ASA executive, led by Evans, and the federation’s interim board, led by chairperson Sello Mokoena, subsequently stepped down with both groups – each previously claiming to have control of the federation – agreeing to the appointment of an interim committee.

Evans and Mokoena were among the nominees for the position of president, while Harold Adams, who was the only person to challenge Evans in 2012, Steve Mkasi and Aleck Skhosana’s names had also been put forward to head the federation.

Adams yesterday withdrew his name for the presidential post as his duties on various athletics committees, including IAAF Medical Committee, Commonwealth Medical Committee and CAA Executive Board, would take up too much of his time.

He had also been nominated as vice-president and would remain in line for that position, he said.

His withdrawal opened the door for what was expected to be a two-horse race between Mokoena and Evans.

Evans was first elected president in July 2011 after a tumultuous three-year ride following the suspension and removal of Chuene and his board.

A year later, Evans again received the nod, while elite marathon runner Hendrick Ramaala was elected vice-president.

Ramaala and Geraldine Pillay – the only remaining members of Evans’ depleted board before they stepped down earlier this year – had not been nominated this time.

Mokoena unseated Aleck Skhosana as KwaZulu-Natal Athletics president in 2012 after the province was marred by allegations of fraud, corruption and mismanagement.

The meeting will be chaired by Daan du Toit, the chairperson of the ad hoc committee.

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