Feud between Athletics SA and its KZN affiliate ends badly

KZNA president Sello Mokoena. Picture: Hlompho Mosiea
KZNA president Sello Mokoena. Picture: Hlompho Mosiea

The longstanding feud between Athletics SA (ASA) and its affiliate KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) reached breaking point this week with the suspension of the board of the provincial structure.

City Press reported last month that ASA had threatened to suspend the provincial board following a resolution taken at the national governing body’s council meeting on October 13.

The feud escalated when KZNA failed to attend the meeting in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

ASA was not happy that KZNA didn’t pitch, even though the provincial members had submitted a written request to be excused from the meeting.

This week’s events were not short of drama as a defiant KZNA approached the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday to contest its suspension, which it argued was “wrongful and unlawful”.

The matter was struck off the roll on Thursday in what KZNA said was based on mutual consent.

In light of this, ASA announced that the suspension of the KZNA board would stand and an administrator would soon take over the day-to-day running of the provincial body.

“This effectively places KZNA under ASA’s administration and takes effect in accordance with the ASA constitution. This status will remain in place pending investigations into possible irregularities relating to the affairs of KZNA,” ASA said on Thursday.

The athletics governing body maintained it had the right to suspend a member.

The president of KZNA, Sello Mokoena, argued that there was no constitutional or policy mandate for ASA to appoint an administrator to replace and take over the functions of an elected board.

“Even in their own version, ASA council never mandated anyone to appoint an administrator to run the affairs of another structure,” said Mokoena, who wrote to KZNA members on Friday to update them on the latest developments.

“The KZNA board will meet shortly to discuss and carry this year’s council resolution of this matter further in the most amicable way,” the letter, seen by City Press, read. Mokoena said his structure had nothing to hide.

Meanwhile, ASA acting chief executive Richard Stander said he expected the suspended members of the KZNA board to “adhere fully to the terms of the suspension as contained in the notice served on them on November 16”.

“An administrator has been appointed and will be announced shortly by ASA, detailing his role and powers,” he said.

ASA said staff at KZNA would not be affected by the furore, he said.

The athletics mother body maintained that it had given KZNA ample time to furnish it with reasons the board ought not to be suspended, but it had not responded by the November 1 deadline.

ASA said one reason related to conduct it deemed brought ASA into disrepute in the public domain.

It also did not take kindly to KZNA always taking ASA to court.

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