Leadership of Athletics SA

asaThe elected Board of Athletics South Africa is still in control of the sport and will be seeking to fill vacancies created by recent resignations from the Board.

In the meantime, a group of individuals calling themselves an ‘interim board’ of ASA have been sending communications on ASA letterheads and pretending to be acting on behalf of the Federation. They have claimed that they were appointed at the Annual General Meeting of ASA, after the Board was purportedly removed. It is clear from the transcript that the meeting held on 30 November 2013 was not an AGM of ASA and the entire conduct of the proceedings was irregular and fraudulent.

However, even in the absence of the gross irregularities on 30 November 2013, no ‘interim board’ can have any status within the sport of athletics. In terms of clause 4.2 of the IAAF Constitution an ad hoc committee can only be set up (a) if the activities of the member have come to a standstill due to conflict and (b) provided that such a committee has been approved in advance. The IAAF has confirmed this fact to the media and the ASA staff in emails on several occasions.

Not only has the sport not come to a standstill, but even on their own version the ‘interim board’ did not obtain prior approval to establish an interim committee. Their claim that they will obtain approval is in direct contradiction with the clear provisions of the IAAF Constitution. If they claim to have IAAF approval they must come clean and provide it. Until they do, their claims must be dismissed as dishonest.

Both SASCOC and SRSA have indicated that they will not intervene in this matter. In short, the so-called ‘interim board’ has no legitimacy and is acting outside the rules of the sport of athletics.

It is a matter of grave concern, however, that this ‘interim committee’ has gone further and is attempting to form a rival federation. They have gone so far as to advise members to stop making payments into the federation’s account and to make payments into a private account. They are seeking to introduce a levy on all athletes registered with Athletics South Africa. They have also tried to turn members of ASA against senior and long standing staff members of the federation. Their actions are fraudulent and all members of ASA and athletes must be on their guard against this scheme.

Meanwhile, a team has been provisionally entered for the World Indoor Championships in March and the Southern Region Cross Country Championships due to be held in Botswana have been moved to Potchefstroom in the North West Province.

The names of an advisory committee to assist the Board, until elections are held to fill the vacancies, will be announced soon.

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