Johannesburg – Athletics South Africa (ASA) will keep its headquarters in Houghton for now after the embattled federation came to an agreement with injured athlete Jan Blignaut’s legal representatives on Wednesday.
Athletics House was scheduled to go under the hammer in order to pay the damages it owed the pole-vaulter after he sustained head injuries in a fall at an ASA event in Pretoria in March 2009.
Last year September the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ordered ASA to pay Blignaut R10.4 million but the athletics body failed to make the payments which resulted in the scheduled sale of execution.
Blignaut’s legal representative Frikkie Jordaan said the two parties agreed that ASA would pay an undisclosed amount to his client within the next seven days.
"They will make an interim payment to my client within the next seven days, this is not the full settlement figure," Jordaan said.
"Through the agreement we are merely postponing the auction, so it is not cancelled.
"We give them a three-month period to come up with an acceptable proposal for the payment of the balance."
Jordaan said if ASA reneged on the agreement, the auction would go ahead to ensure his client received the payments owed to him.
He said his client was open to a reasonable settlement proposal in terms of reduced capital amount and interest with payment terms.
"We just hope that ASA would make us an acceptable settlement proposal and of course pay within the next seven days," Jordaan said.
Jordaan said the interim payment from ASA would go a long way in assisting Blignaut to cover some of his expenses.
"If everything goes well, in a week’s time he could get a reasonable amount and we will wait patiently for the rest," he said.
"However, they only have three months to say how they plan on settling the balance."
Meanwhile, ASA president Aleck Skhosana confirmed the sale in execution of the property had been postponed based on the agreement.
"We will pay a certain amount then we will negotiate how we will make the other payments," Skhosana said.
Skhosana said once the interim payment has been made to Blignaut the athletics would be in a better situation to approach sponsorships.
"Once we have dealt with this issue we will be in a situation to communicate and engage better with possible sponsorships as this has been hanging over ASA," he said.