KZN Athletics duo resign

2011-09-28 00:00

KZN Athletics’ finance and administration manager, Joyce Smith, and her assistant Sandy Moses this week resigned their posts this week, just two days ahead of a disciplinary hearing where they were expected to face dismissal following an audit uncovering fraud of over R90 000.

The report covered only last year’s National Youth Run and two months worth of development projects controlled by KZN Athletics executive and the office management.

The youth run received more than R600 000 in sponsorship from the Department of Sport and Recreation.

Smith and Moses submitted their resignations to the KZNA president Aleck Skhosana and his executive, who the report identified as being accountable for the operations and corporate governance of the provincial federation.

Over the past two years auditors gave notice of the need for improved financial control, but the executive failed to adopt the recommendations.

Although both women have been on paid leave up to the eve of their disciplinary hearing, the resignations were accepted with immediate effect.

“Smith and Moses have averted the disciplinary hearing, but this does not remove the opportunity to pursue a criminal case,” said Kevin Bradfield, who was elected by clubs to chair an intervention committee.

“There are people who have already initiated this process, not just on the employees, but also those that are responsible and accountable for operations at this level.

Former finance chairperson John Hall, who has been a leader in the unearthing of the fraud, said, “The sport is of course grateful of assistance from all sources.

“However, surely it is time that the department [of sport and recreation] investigate the use of the public funding of all the events they have assisted with at KZN Athletics. This audit has shown fraud of around 16% of the funding of this one project. Given the number and extent of projects that the department has assisted over the last 10 years, the figures could easily total millions,” Hall said.

“Accounts from the first months of this year appear to substantiate the continued loss of funds,” said Bradfield, who believes the report has identified only the tip of the iceberg.

“Why are the president and executive failing to extend the investigation?” said Hall. “They should now stand aside and allow a full investigation and, where appropriate, acknowledge and accept accountability for relevant actions and inactions.”

It is understood that when the audit report was tabled the intervention committee requested a council meeting to give the clubs full feedback.

No meeting has been called, but last week clubs were looking to take matter further last week, mooting also a vote of no confidence in the executive.

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