KZN Athletics president Skhosana in hot water after statements about colleagues in the media

2011-11-19 00:00

ATHLETICS South Africa (ASA) board member, president of KZN Athletics (KZNA) and the manager of KZN’s Academy of Excellence, Aleck Skhosana, has been served with a lawyer’s letter claiming R500 000 in damages following statements he made in recent interviews in an article in the Ilanga newspaper and broadcast nationally on Ukhozi FM.

This comes at a time when Skhosana and his KZNA executive are at the centre of fraud, corruption and mismanagement allegations that have crippled athletics in the province and left it bankrupt.

Among the comments, Skhosana is said to have claimed that former financial portfolio holder and executive member John Hall is “part of a minority group of white people who are driven by hatred of racial discrimination”.

Skhosana also claimed that Hall, the organiser of the Weekend Witness Maritzburg Marathon, is guilty of the theft of funds using runners’ race entry fees to “go cavorting with his wife overseas”.

Similar and additional allegations were said to have been made in an interview on SABC’s Ukhozi FM, and Weekend Witness understands that a further legal claim may be lodged in that regard.

“[The executive] has already been seen to have been incompetent in their financial and managerial control, and over 100 clubs have now made their feelings absolutely clear,” said Hall, referring to a demand for a special general meeting that was sent to KZNA this week.

The clubs’ meeting demand has only one agenda point: the resolution to be passed in terms of clause 19.1 of the constitution — removal of the executive.

The clubs in KZN form the council — the highest authority in provincial athletics and to which the executive are answerable. Over the past year clubs have complained that the executive have ignored their requests for meetings, nomination of delegates and have generally been unaccountable to the membership.

The appointment of the new treasurer, Logan Naidoo, vice president Patrick Hlongwane and replacement office administrator, Dees Govender, have all been done without consultation with the clubs.

Govender is now both an executive member and paid by KZNA and replaces Joyce Smith, the previous administrative and finance manager.

With Sandra Moses, Smith was due to face disciplinary action resulting from a forensic audit that proved fraud of over R90 000 from one event and development projects primarily sponsored by the Department of Sport and Recreation using public funds. It is alleged that a full audit of the body would reveal fraud running into millions of rands over the past decade of Skhosana’s term of office.

Although the executive have failed to report the situation to the authorities or lay charges, sources in the clubs have said that charges will be laid against all offenders once the executive have been removed.

This week attempts to fax documents to the KZN office failed with the number apparently out of service.

Sources confirmed that the Road Commission this week voted unanimously to open a dispute with the president and the executive, which in terms of the Constitution could also result in the removal of the entire executive.

The Sunkist Run for Fun 10 km race, which has been on the KZNA fixture list since December last year and attracts athletes and the public from outside the city, was cancelled by the city late last week after a last-minute application from the municipality’s sport development and recreation department for a Mayor’s Wellness five kilometre fun-run. By contrast, it is understood this mayoral event is only open to municipal employees. Attempts to contact the department’s event organiser before publication failed.

It was confirmed that the Sport and Recreation Department intends to hold a five kilometre fun walk on Durban Beachfront on December 4, which would clash with the traditional Yellowwood Park 15 km race on the same day.

A letter addressed to Skhosana on November 10 indicated that the event will be hosted by Premier Zweli Mkhize and the MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, and stated that 2 000 participants are expected.

“We know nothing about this. This is the first we have heard of it,” said Fred Schoon, the Yellowwood club organiser. “It’s an absolute disgrace.”

Attempts to contact Aleck Skhosana for comment before publication were unsuccessful.

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