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UPDATE ON ATHLETICS SOUTH AFRICA

We have exercised patience and afforded the IAAF sufficient time, space and cooperation in the hope that they will put measures in place to resolve the leadership crisis in Athletics South Africa (ASA).

The IAAF promised in the first quarter of last year to come to South Africa and resolve the situation. In fact Lamine Diack, President of the IAAF then appointed a two-person committee comprising of Sam Ramsamy, his IOC colleague, and Cheikh Thiare, the Executive Director in his office to come to South Africa and to resolve the impasse. The concerned parties at ASA together with SASCOC waited patiently for these two gentlemen to action their mandate.

Eventually Cheikh Thiare agreed on a date late last year and a visa was arranged for him, but unfortunately he did not arrive, citing illness. The general membership of ASA, becoming frustrated at the situation, utilized their constitution and got their membership to remove the rest of the ASA Board (all three of an elected board of a total of 11 persons) and thereafter duly elected an interim board tasked with managing ASA and the added task of constituting elections for the full ASA Board.

To date the IAAF has not responded to any communique from Sello Mokoena, the Chairperson of the Interim Board. However, via media reports, James Evans has asserted that the IAAF only recognises his discredited minority members. In fact James Evans has clearly stated that he is in touch with the IAAF.

The question bears asking, who is the IAAF recognizing, ASA or James Evans?

We were informed that Cheikh Thiare was due to arrive around 22/23 January. We realized that he was not going to arrive when SASCOC President, Gideon Sam received a very disrespectful email from James Evans which reads:

Cheikh needs a visa. Because your friends have locked our staff out of their offices, we cant assist. Is SASCOC able to organize that he gets a visa on entry? To apply visa our embassy will hold up the process.

SASCOC did not respond but forwarded the note to Sam Ramsamy.

SASCOC engaged with our Honourable Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula. SASCOC decided as follows:

 

  1. That it will uplift the suspension of ASA and will deal solely with the elected members of the Interim Board prior to the election of a full board, which election we understand will shortly be called for by the Interim Board;
  2. That the upliftment would give our athletes the opportunity to represent our country at various international levels and would also steer the way clear to ensuring that the provisions of corporate governance as set out in the Constitutions of ASA, SASCOC and the country, are adhered to.

President Gideon Sam has also indicated to President Lamine Diack that SASCOC would still welcome the IAAF to engage the stakeholders further. However he emphasised that we need the athletes and ASA to focus on producing the quality athletes for Team South Africa to:

 

  1. African Youth Games (May- Botswana)
  2. Commonwealth Games (July- Scotland)
  3. Olympic Youth Games (August- China)
  4. African Union Region 5 Games (December- Zimbabwe)

 


1 comments
William Harmsen
William Harmsen

Well done!This is a great decision.Maybe Sascoc can revisit your decision on Sive Speelman and allow him to be our only representative at the Winter Olmpics.This will do so much to encourage South African kids who still have Winter Olympic aspirations.Africa has so few qualifiers for the Winter Olympics that Sive's participation will mean a lot not only to South Africans but to all who think of Africa as home.On a personal note I think Sive's Qualification is very special and the chances of another South African Qualifying anytime soon is remote, so please reconsider your decision and let him go.