Clubs throw out entire KZN Athletics executive

2012-04-23 00:00

KZN athletics clubs voted for total make-over the weekend, throwing out the association’s entire executive, including controversial president Aleck Skhosana, who has been at its helm for 12 years.

The new president is Sello Mokoena, an optometrist, while his deputy is Lee Roy Newton, a member of South Africa’s World Championship Gold Medal 4 x 100 relay team.

Said Mokoena: “There were many injuries in this battle, but at the end of the day athletics was the winner. We can start from a clean, credible slate … We have serious and real work to be done in gaining back the credibility respect and focus for athletics.”

There was need for an open and accountable structure to be put in place, he said. This was about returning athletics to the athletes, bringing the focus back to clubs, members and athletes, no matter where they are in the province.

Mokoen said it would take time to undo the damage that had been done and that the mop-up operation was “just gaining momentum”.

In September last year, the chairperson of KZNA’s financial intervention team, Kevin Bradfield, declared that the association was broke. Two staff members resigned amid claims they had defrauded it of R90 000, while investigations reportedly continue into whether part of a R2,2-million lotteries grant had been misused

In his reaction, Bradfield said: “I’m proud of the KZNA family for standing resolute and upholding the principles of free and fair elections.”

He said years of decay had taken place, but now the members had enlisted “a great and diverse construction team, with skills and, importantly, passion to commence the rebuild.”

A senior official said a full investigation would now be possible and that those responsible would be called to account, “internally or civilly with criminal charges”.

The public spat between Skhosana and his former friend and treasurer, John Hall, also played out at Saturday’s meeting.

Skhosana agreed to apologise to Hall for his alleged defamatory remarks in a newspaper article and radio interview about Hall’s involvement as race director of the Weekend Witness Maritzburg Marathon and his trips to the International Road Running Congress.

Skhosana could not be reached for comment yesterday.

It remains to be seen how the executive overhaul will affect both Skhosana and Blanche Moila, who currently sit on the board of Athletics South Africa (ASA) and whether they will survive the national election in June.

The new executive will take office immediately, with only Peter Proctor remaining, having gained a seat as current Comrades chair. — Witness Reporter.

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