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Six Athletics South Africa members suspended

Just days before the showpiece national track and field championships at Stellenbosch, embattled Athletics South Africa have suspended six ASA board members, writes Mark Etheridge.

The suspended members are vice-president Hendrick Ramaala, Shireen Noble, Esther Malema, Pieter Lourens, James Moloi and Qwadiso Ntathu.

In the interim Morgan Matholeni has been named as acting general manager of ASA.

Last month there was an attempted impeachment of ASA president James Evans by board members. Evans was not present at the meeting held in Johannesburg.

He then obtained an interdict in the Pretoria High Court, stopping ASA board members from acting further until the result of an arbitration hearing. This was due to him believing the board failed to follow the necessary processes ahead of the meting.

In an official ASA statement Evans said: “Six board members have been suspended pending the outcome of disciplinary cases against them which have been referred to the disciplinary committee. The cases will be finalised as soon as reasonably and fairly possible if the suspended members co-operate with the disciplinary committee.”

In the period since the Johannesburg meeting, the ASA bank account has been frozen and staff members have not been paid, selection standards not announced and ASA are even at risk of being suspended by the sport’s governing body, the IAAF, due to the annual report not being submitted.

Evans went on to say: “In short, those board members involved have left the sport in disarrayÔǪ money which should be spent on the sport is wasted on further personal battles and the sport damaged irretrievably.”

A special board meeting has been scheduled to take place on 14 April.

James concluded: “The focus of Athletics South Africa shall be on restoring the organisation’s administrative and financial integrity and then rebuilding confidence in the sport, which has taken such a battering during the past month. We trust that members will bear with and support us during this difficult time.”


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