Athletics

Provinces call for ASA meeting

2013-05-16 18:19
Athletics South Africa (File)
Johannesburg - Some of Athletics SA's (ASA) provincial members have called for a special general meeting (SGM) in an effort to reclaim control of the sport.

Four of ASA's 17 provinces had written to ASA administrator Zola Majavu asking that an SGM be convened, according to a suspended ASA board member, who would not be named.

Five other provinces verbally committed to joining the call. Written requests from six provinces would be sufficient to convene an SGM.

"During the last couple of months South African athletics went through extremely difficult times, mostly as a result of the conflict between board members of the federation," Athletics Free State (AFS) president Jantjie Theletsane wrote in a letter to Majavu last week.

"During this time the members of Athletics SA have been denied the opportunity to voice their opinions," he wrote.

On Tuesday, Athletics Griqualand West sent a letter to Majavu supporting the call for an SGM. Athletics Central North West (ACNW) and Limpopo Athletics did so on Wednesday.

Majavu was appointed by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee last month, after it suspended the entire ASA board for the second time in less than four years.

Suspended ASA president James Evans is locked in an arbitration battle with the athletics body after being impeached in March, following a long-running public spat with Vice-president Hendrick Ramaala.

Evans said on Thursday the arbitration hearing had not yet taken place, and said the process was "pointless".

"Ramaala admitted that the meeting only passed a motion of impeachment, and that had no effect other than making allegations against me," Evans said.

"It did not have the effect of removing me."

The previous ASA SGM, scheduled to be held in Cape Town in April, and which was to have dealt with Evans's impeachment, was called off after SASCOC suspended the federation's board.

"This move has put ASA at risk of being suspended from world athletics by the IAAF," Theletsane wrote.

Yannis Nikolaou, spokesman for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), said the global governing body could not comment on the matter.

"We have not received enough information at this stage, and it is still an internal matter, so we cannot say anything."

AFS called for a motion of disapproval in the entire ASA board "for the manner in which they handled their internal differences".

It also called for a motion to condemn Ramaala and six other board members who had "misunderstood the meaning of the word 'impeachment' and illegally tried to suspend the elected president without any decision from the members to support them".

AFS wanted the ASA constitution revised and brought into line with the Companies Act and the IAAF constitution.

Meanwhile, Limpopo Athletics called for suspended board members to be reinstated. It wanted the ASA council to take responsibility for running the sport, and for an independent inquiry to investigate various allegations against board members.

Limpopo Athletics' secretary Leon Bannau said athletes needed to prepare for national and international competitions, and it did not believe ASA was fully operational.

ASA confirmed on Thursday that ACNW would host the final senior event of the domestic track and field season, the SA Open Championships, in Potchefstroom next week.

ASA would host the African Junior Championships in Germiston next month.

The international season culminates with the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, in August.

"At this stage, we as provinces are not sure what should happen," Bannau wrote.

"It seems the line of communication has reached a dead end."

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