IAAF urges SA athletics community to unite

2014-02-25 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Unite the South African athletics community and bring peace and order back to the sport.

This was the message the special envoy of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Cheikh Thiaré, yesterday gave to the new ad hoc committee of seven members who will manage Athletics South Africa (ASA) over the next three months.

Thiaré was send by IAAF to South Africa to end the dispute between two athletic factions. The two factions had agreed on an ad hoc committee over the weekend.

The two groups also undertook to drop all court cases against each other while all suspensions will be lifted.

The committee will be led by Daan du Toit (72), a former Air Force colonel and currently president of Athletics Gauteng North, and must elect a new ASA council by May 24.

The seven committee members may not take part in the elections. Other strict guidelines are that the whole process will be monitored by the IAAF.

“We will decide as soon as possible who will manage the ASA’s office,” Du Toit said.

The various ASA commissions — track and field, cross country and road races — may not continue their work.

The temporary committee had last year used a vote of no confidence to replaced James Evans, the former president and his council.

The IAAF had, however, not recognised the temporary committee.

Thiaré on Sunday found the factions had reached an impasse and athletics could grind to a halt in SA as a result.

“The ad hoc committee had a difficult task and needs the support of the entire athletics community,” he said.

The committee comprise: Du Toit, George Lamb, George Fraser, Brendan du Plessis, Simon Mlangeni, Colleen McNally (secretary) and Paul van der Merwe.

• One of the first matters the new committee focused on was to get the IAAF’s approval for the members of the South African team who will compete in the World Indoor meeting to be held in Sobot, Poland, from March 7 to 9. Yesterday was the deadline to enter teams.

“It is the same group of athletes as in the preliminary that was announced earlier, with André Olivier,” said Du Toit.

The team has sprinter Anaso Jobodwana, Johan Cronjé (1 500 m), Elroy Gelant (3 000 m), Orazio Cremona (shot put), Zarck Visser (long jump), Carina Horn (60 m) and Olivier (800 m).

Important dates

April 9: Nominations for the ASA elections open.

April 24: Deadline for nominations.

May 2: List of nominees are published.

May 24: Election of the ASA council.

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