Other Sport

Members turn on ASA

2009-11-10 13:57
Leonard Chuene (File)

Johannesburg - Four of Athletics South Africa's (ASA) provincial members said on Tuesday they would prevent the federation from fighting a suspension handed down by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

The Boland, Eastern Province and Western Province Athletics Associations had previously called for the entire ASA board to step down after president Leonard Chuene admitted he had lied about gender tests conducted on world 800m champion Caster Semenya, and after the board and certain members of senior management were suspended from the Olympic body last week, the Free State association has joined the fray.

"At the special general meeting on September 24, the meeting unanimously agreed that ASA would co-operate with any statutory commission of enquiry," the provincial members said in a joint statement.

"That commission of enquiry (conducted by SASCOC) has taken its course, but the board of ASA is now not happy with the outcome and seeks to contest it through legal means.

"The ASA board does not have the mandate of all its member provinces to engage in any legal proceedings against SASCOC."

The quartet also slammed ASA for refusing to release its recent financial statements, which had been formally requested on October 9.

"On October 19 the general manager of ASA (Molatelo Malehopo) asked for time to the end of that week to respond," the statement read.

"To date there has been no response and, in breach of the Companies Act, no financial statements have been distributed."

The four bodies went on to accuse ASA management of being "riddled with corruption, ineptitude and outright incompetence", and slammed the board and senior management for focussing on their own positions, rather than the state of the sport.

"It has become clear that the board of Athletics South Africa has no respect for either the truth or the members of ASA," the statement read.

"It is also clear that the ASA board will not hesitate to waste further money on yet more futile legal action. While the members of the board are protecting their own positions, the sport and the athletes suffer.

"Athletics South Africa is now, in differing degrees, in conflict with the International Association of Athletics Federation, the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee and all political parties in South Africa. There is no clearer indication that the board of ASA has brought the organisation into disrepute."

The provincial members went on to warn the federation's board that if they had not resigned by noon on Wednesday, every board member would suffer numerous consequences.

The associations threatened to lay formal charges against each member of the board with the disciplinary committee, suggesting they all received life bans.

They also called for a special general meeting to consider a motion of impeachment against each individual member of the board.

Additionally, they threatened to lay criminal charges against each member of the board for various breaches of the Companies Act, and for fraud, "for intentionally lying to the members of ASA (at a council meeting) on September 12 with the intention of causing them to act to their prejudice or potential prejudice."

The provincial members also threatened to take legal action if ASA failed to pay alleged outstanding and overdue prize money to athletes and money owed to provincial members for hosting ASA events.

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