ASA in financial hole

2013-06-25 23:02
Zola Majavu (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Outgoing Athletics SA (ASA) administrator Zola Majavu says the federation will struggle to pay its outstanding debt in the near future.

Majavu confirmed that he had vacated his post on Tuesday, a little more than two months after he was appointed by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), after the Olympic body suspended ASA at the weekend.

"The financial affairs of ASA are not good," Majavu said.

"If this was a company that was trading it would be under business rescue.

"There is no chance in hell that all their creditors will be paid in full in the next six months."

Majavu was given 120 days to clean up ASA's financial affairs, with the option of extending his stay if necessary, but he was removed midway through his contract after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) refused to accept him as the ASA administrator.

The IAAF said it still recognised the ASA board, claiming Majavu had been appointed unconstitutionally, and expected the athletics body to deal with its own issues without outside interference.

Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy said ASA was R6 million in the red when Majavu took control, before the federation received a cash injection of R10.8 million from an SABC broadcast deal, which was negotiated by Evans. Around R5 million remained in the account.

"Most of the creditors have been paid -- some in full and some in part," Majavu said.

"But whoever takes over from me will be left to pay the same creditors I was struggling to pay."

Majavu had taken bridging loans from Sascoc to cover outstanding municipal bills and staff salaries when he first took office and did not have access to the ASA bank account. Reddy said ASA owed the Olympic body R3.6 million.

However, ASA president James Evans said he had no doubt the federation remained financially viable and would be able to find its feet.

He said ASA would pay back the Sascoc loan, taken under Majavu's administration, provided it was money that the federation would have spent under its own administration.

"If the loans were taken for legitimate expenses, we will pay them back," Evans said.

"If they were not legitimate expenses, we will not pay."

Majavu said he held no grudges against Evans, who had laid criminal charges against him for "hijacking" the ASA office.

Majavu also confirmed that Sascoc would be billed for the time he spent dealing with ASA affairs, and said he had "not claimed a single cent" from ASA since taking control of the organisation.

The country's university athletics team was the first to feel the brunt of the suspension earlier Tuesday when they were left out of the national squad for next month's World Student Games in Kazan, Russia.

Sascoc president Gideon Sam said they would meet with Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday to discuss the suspension of the athletics body, while Evans confirmed he had made a request to Mbalula for mediation.

Read more on:    iaaf  |  asa  |  sascoc  |  zola majavu  |  tubby reddy  |  athletics

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