Athletes slam incompetent ASA

2009-11-06 13:49

Johannesburg - Elite South African athletes and a national coach have stood up against Athletics South Africa (ASA) for alleged incompetence.

Much of the criticism in a joint statement revolved around the team managers at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in August, including ASA president Leonard Chuene's personal assistant, Humile Bogatsu, and ASA events manager Phiwe Mlangeni-Tsholetsane.

Chuene, Bogatsu and Tsholetsane were all suspended, along with other ASA employees and board members including general manager Molatelo Malehopo, by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASACOC) on Thursday for their handling of the Caster Semenya gender debacle.

And some of the athletes who competed in Berlin, including former world junior 200m champion Paul Gorries, Magda Botha, the team's sprint coach and former Olympic walker Nicolene Cronje, have hit out at them with claims of mismanagement and racism.

"They were besotted with power - constantly trying to show the athletes who is boss," said Gorries, who ran the 4X400m relay in Berlin.

"Phiwe knows nothing about athletics. Her comments showed this clearly! Hendrick (Mokganyetsi, team manager) was aggressive towards everybody and made numerous wrong decisions.

"Humile is nothing more than a secretary - she knows nothing about managing a team. She was also flown back and forth between Germany and SA, at ASA's cost (to write exams).

"They (Tsholetsane and Bogatsu) were constantly shopping and not giving attention to what they were there for - managing the team. Or they were flitting around Chuene.

"We were castigated because we did not, according to them, support Caster, but not one of them was at Khotso's (Mokoena) or Mbulaeni's (Mulaudzi) medal ceremonies."

An anonymous athlete who competed in Berlin, as well as the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, said the 2009 World Championships "was the worst event".

Another unnamed athlete, who referred to the global showpiece as "bootcamp", said there was "no communication" from management.

Botha said the team managers had "no experience", adding that Tsholetsane "knows nothing of athletics" and Bogatsu "made no contribution to the team at all."

She added that the tests conducted on world 800m champion Semenya had been handled "completely wrongly" and that Chuene, who later admitted to lying about the tests, had tried to force the team to cover up the mess management had created.

"In the last meeting before our return, Leonard tried to convince us this was the best team management ever in the history of SA athletics and that, if we had a problem, we had to remember we are a family and a family does not speak out.

"It was clear what he was trying to say - that nothing from Berlin should be discussed with anyone on our return."

Cronje, who has not competed since she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome in 2007, said she had been physically assaulted by Malehopo at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica, when she was 19-years-old.

"Molatelo Malehopo called me aside together with Snowy Matthews and Magda Botha and he lost his temper," she recalled.

"He smacked me several times in the face, to the extent that Snowy had to come between us and stop him.

"The next day Leonard Chuene called me in and asked me what happened. I told him, and his words to me were: "My child, should this get out to the press or your family, your athletics career is over. Let's pretend it never happened".

Cronje said she hoped to compete again but was worried about the state of the sport.

"There is so much more that is happening in SA athletics and I am not sure if we will ever get to the bottom of it," she said.

"Sponsors withdrawing, cheap clothing being issued to athletes, money disappearing, athletes being mistreated, bad accommodation and food for athletes... and so the list goes on."


  • Marloma - 2009-11-06 13:58

    ASA thought the world would crumble when they shouted the word RACISM, as is always the case.

  • Vernon - 2009-11-06 14:00


  • Cullart - 2009-11-06 14:00

    Idiots besotted with power driving X6 BM's and really know nothing about the sport. It appears that this kind of nonsense will still go on for a while until this idots leave and real administrators begin to administer the sport.

  • Richard - 2009-11-06 14:02

    What did you expect from a banana republic and more so from people running the show who don't even know the difference between an athletes relay batton and a cricket bat.What a pitty for all sport when the polititians took over.Politician cannot even run the country without corruption and mismanagement and now they appoint there cronies into sport so that they to came mismanage and bleed the sport of the resourses.

  • Gruntfuttock of Africa - 2009-11-06 14:05

    Are there any volunteers for the firing squad?

  • SteveD - 2009-11-06 14:06

    It is a pity that politics and friends don't make good bed-fellows. So tired of corruption under the guise of BEE. If you are a corrupt incompetent bafoon and get caught out - just shout "racesist" and the problem will "poof" disappear. You will however remain a bafoon!

  • Andrew - 2009-11-06 14:07

    Who ever appointed these buffoons should loose their jobs as well? What a circus!

  • sean - 2009-11-06 14:09

    The majority of people running this country are bloody INCOMPITENT !! It`s a pitty the IAAF haven`t punished them severly ! Once pushed into a corner the race card gets used ! What a circus !!

  • da da dalema - 2009-11-06 14:10

    call malema to fix this up - it'll be instant - blame it on apartheid, racist there it's fixed

  • Anonymous - 2009-11-06 14:15

    Why doesn't someone interview Nedbank and ask them for the real reason they've stopped their sponsorship? Millions of rands that were meant for athletes (marathon runners etc) were not paid to the athletes but witheld for personal enjoyment by ASA officials. True story.

  • Honest Abe - 2009-11-06 14:16

    These bullies and blusters should heed the words of Abraham Lincoln: "You can fool all of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." He might have added "but you should fool yourself none of the time"

  • Malume - 2009-11-06 14:17

    I hope these atletes make submissions to the committee that's looking at the ASA debacle.To me what's more interesting is that these atletes only come out publicly now,why have you guys not done anything all along? Your coming out loud about this will not only help you but other up and coming atletes as well,in fact there could be more abuse and mismanagement kept under wraps which can be uncovered.Thank you for coming out and please submit your complaints to SASCOC DC inorder for these guys to be punished appropriately otherwise it's only Caster against them when you guys are dying inside.All the best.

  • jimmy - 2009-11-06 14:17

    Just the tip of the iceberg, as it were.We will never know the full extent of the incompetence, lies, deceit and financial mismanagement that has been going on for years. Even Sascoc will cover it all up. These athletes actually deserve what they get because they were never "brave" enough to say anything at the time!! I think the same problems exist in most sports federations in SA. "Jobs for pals"

  • isakd - 2009-11-06 14:18

    and our youth leader mr malema supported this guy to the end. come on we need more sense in the structures of especially the youth to protect our young athletes. come on mr malema show your strength and take this people out of our youths paths.

  • Tembo - 2009-11-06 14:21

    These people disgust me; they are an embarrassment to the nation.I can't stand that Chuene; the guy who slapped that girl should be prosecuted.SA does have people with a passion and training to run an organisation like ASA, I know a lot of them - it's just that they're not willing to kiss ANC's arse just to get ahead.I'm just going to keep hanging my head in shame; I'm disgusted!!!Chuene should take his racist, ignorant, stupid arse back to wherever he comes from, I just never want to read about this incompetent imbecile again.

  • Thabo - 2009-11-06 14:27

    Chuene is a hero. He opened the eyes of the world and showed tham that whites do not want black people to excel in sport. Now he is the fall guy. SASACOC should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Nick A - 2009-11-06 14:29

    And so the penny finally drops. To all those 'white bashers' and political opportunists' that were shouting so loudly at the airport it seems your day of reckoning has finally come. Pity they are all too dim to realise it though.

  • Gerad - 2009-11-06 14:33

    We also went to a world games in Vancouver in 2009 and kwow all about when the boss is to bossy. I feel for those athletes and know what they went through.The bosses must remember the games is about the athletes and not the so called management. I hope Ray Mali gets a team together that can take our athletes to new heights.Abig shame on asa in small letters

  • Baas Koos - 2009-11-06 14:40

    Thabo..... go ask your scholl fee's back !!!!! And what type of hero is he... a lying one..... he is a discrace to the country and to athletics!!!! I bet he didnt even do athletics!!! en Ja, hy het n K@K job gedoen! Just listen to the current athletes and that will tell you that there was no interrest in the athletes... only to Chuene's pockets!!! as usual they only enrich themselves!

  • AJ - 2009-11-06 14:43

    Will all the HONEST BLACK PROFESSIONALS please STAND UP!? Ar you guys OUT THERE somewhere? Why do you let yourselves be dragged through the mud by ANC cadre deployment? Where are you? ARe you proud of how these 'political appointments' make you look. Start taking some control and find a VOICE. DO you even have your own one?

  • @Thabo - 2009-11-06 14:45

    Thabo you are an idiot. Wake up and take off your blinkers. How is it that because leanard is black he can do no wrong in your eyes? See the situation for what it is! There is right and there is wrong and skin colour has nothing to do with it. Idiot!!!

  • Boris - 2009-11-06 14:45

    Thabo, that is so typical of a minority group in South Africa. Black athletes will always be competitive and will excell. So Chuene is your "hero" well I think your hero is now zero you chop!

  • Spiral Verve - 2009-11-06 14:47

    @Thabo: My friend, my are a blind racist, and a moron. I say blind, as you simply cannot see why this has been an issue. Unlike what happens in your world, not being a biological woman precludes you from entering races where only woman are competing, rgardless of the fact that you're black...!! Does that concept completly baffle you? Yeah, I thought so...

  • Willie Victor - 2009-11-06 14:51

    Thabo please! From what planet are you? Even if Chuene was white if you are incompetent you are incompetent end of story! Scotty please beam him down to earth he has lost it!

  • rebornracist - 2009-11-06 14:53

    Thabo,you idiot half-wit. I have been watching your comments for a few months now and at first I thought you were just "stirring" but I have now come to the conclusion that you are a seriously "retarded" and completely brainless buffoon ! Chuene, a hero-- YOU IDIOT !!

  • @THABO - 2009-11-06 14:54

    Is there a word in "pedi" for "do you understand the article" it seems as though you are not comfortable with being black, every comment of yours is always hurled at the whites.....Chuene and his entire board were suspended due to the international disgrace they brought upon Semenya and South Africa, everytime someone's incompetence is challenged it is always being blamed on the whites

  • Tongue-in-cheek - 2009-11-06 14:54

    @Thabo: you are either a fictitious character created to generate media hype, or you are living in a fictitious world. Either way, good luck to you man!

  • Mark - 2009-11-06 14:56

    An further we go down the road to a Banana Republic, courtesy of these idiots at ASA, and their halfwitted supporters (Thabo take note please)...

  • Rob - 2009-11-06 14:56

    Thabo - Why is the racecard played when there is total failure - Thick!!

  • Dean - 2009-11-06 14:57

    So what ?????? This is if any biching will help.These clowns will simply be in control of some other Government institution next week. So....rot Africa ROT !!!!!!!

  • mojo - 2009-11-06 14:58

    @ thabo. It is time for you to stop your reverse racism. What has happened here is a national disgrace never mind if you are black or white and the sooner you and your kind recognise this the sooner we will follow Madiba's dream of a rainbow nation. If this man was in China he would be sitting in jail right now and to me that is where he belongs.

  • KA - 2009-11-06 14:59

    @Thabo - that is a terrible generalisation. I am white and I love it when ANY South African excels in sport - I don't care what colour they are. We are all South Africans and if anyone of us succeeds we all should be proud. Let's not corrupt the beauty of sport achievements with race issues.

  • @Thabo - 2009-11-06 15:00

    "Whites do not want black people to excel in sport" - you are quite right dear Thabo. I noticed that not a single white person anywhere in the world applauded Usain Bolt's success. I am impressed that you also picked this up, you must be of above average intelligence.

  • Truth - 2009-11-06 15:00

    I remember somebody talking about "World War 3" at that time.......silly bunch of idiots!

  • Paul - 2009-11-06 15:01

    Hey Thabo are you in any way related to Julius...sounds like you guys failed your std 6 at the same school. There is no substitute for intelligence and competence that is what is required at ASA!!

  • Mark - 2009-11-06 15:04

    An further we go down the road to a Banana Republic, courtesy of these idiots at ASA, and their halfwitted supporters (Thabo take note please)...

  • PETRUS R BOTHA - 2009-11-06 15:08

    Been investigating government corruption for last 9yrs,these storys just get better and better...Nedbank come clean with what happend with the money for athletes......

  • Will - 2009-11-06 15:15

    Hey Thabo - would you rather have a lying selfish president of ASA or a decent leader who is doing something positive. Black or white, pink or grey it does not matter to 99.99% of the population. BTW Very few black kids at my boys school - guess who's photo is the biggest in the change rooms? Usain Bolt! You are the racist Mr. Thabo and you are in the minority and obviously have no indian, coloured or white friends. BTW I'm Brazilian. How do you label me?

  • Michael - 2009-11-06 15:20

    To Thabo, the pillick of the month. Shows why this country is in crisis with incompetetint fools. You Thabo are the problem, exactly the mindless comment is what made the ASA board, peas in a pod. Open what eyes. Zuma must ensure the SA public including the wites according to Thabo that the ruling party will not stand for such incompetent people again - including Thabo. Now may the cream rise to the top with out the interferrence of politics of ASA.

  • Frankie Fredericks - 2009-11-06 15:26

    About Thabo - guys, don't get distracted by Thabo's comments. He always tries to make outlandish comments to get a rise out of everyone, and then before you know it half of all comments are directed at him! I have seen this in plenty of other stories too. Nice work though Thabo, you certainly manage to annoy plenty of people out there!

  • Fuzzy - 2009-11-06 15:33

    Hey Thabo, have you considered a brain transplant? Yours isn't working dude! Maybe your buddy Julius should join you.

  • robert barrie - 2009-11-06 15:57

    how much damage can these incompetent people do? Soccer, cricket, tennis, athletics, Eskom etc etc - luckily they are not involved in jukskei yet! As long as they can 'take' money that is not due they will be there

  • White Athlete - 2009-11-06 15:57

    To all those who ask where these athletes were all along: They were around, trying to do the right thing and fix the sport through the official structures. As that didn't seem to work, it was necessary to go public. Athletes (other athletes) are also scared of victimisation as this has happened in the past. Btw, I am a white athlete and my sporting heroes are Michael Johnson, Quincy Watts, Usain Bolt, Frank Fredericks and Tshakile Nzimande. Most white people have left racism in the past and prefer to look at the issues, along with most black people - it's only a minority of blacks who seem to pull out the race card all time... Unfortunately it's the loud minority, which tarnishes all black people.

  • Julius - 2009-11-06 16:56

    You get what you voted for. So stop complaining. Africans can in any case not do anything that involves skill. Basics, yes like running or jumping or a combination of it. But any other discipline in athletics? Nope!

  • Sinudeity @Thabo - 2009-11-06 16:57

    Hahahahaha! Chuene thought he could fool the world with his lies and misdirection. Unfortunately 0.0001% of South Africans will always be fooled. Will always believe the propaganda and the lies. I blame OBE.

  • ham - 2009-11-06 18:04

    ''Thabo'' is a white guy...trying to get a rise out of everyone. It's working. go bro! If he's not a white guy taking the piss....then I feel sorry for him.

  • glen - 2009-11-06 18:26

    The truth always prevails. Lies will always come home. Malema talk up, lets hear how you get around this mess . AA and BEE does not work

  • glen - 2009-11-06 18:29

    The world is bigger than a few power hunger south africans.

  • runner up - 2009-11-06 23:21

    And do we remember the honourable minister for sport telling the WHOLE WORLD that if Semenya is not sorted there will be a third world war? What utter imbecilic and impetuous and uninformed and irresponsible crap from a cabinet minister. Shall we hold him to these words? Who is really in charge? Is there anybody there? I'd love some or other well-paid Member of Parliament to rise onto their hind legs and ask a question or two on this matter of a third world war, in Parliament. Come on parliamentarians, speak up! What a bunch of craven loons.

  • runner up - 2009-11-06 23:41

    And do we remember the honourable minister for sport telling the WHOLE WORLD that if Semenya is not sorted there will be a third world war? What utter imbecilic and impetuous and uninformed and irresponsible crap from a cabinet minister. Shall we hold him to these words? Who is really in charge? Is there anybody there? I'd love some or other well-paid Member of Parliament to rise onto their hind legs and ask a question or two on this matter of a third world war, in Parliament. Come on parliamentarians, speak up! What a bunch of craven loons.