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Evans ousted as Athletics SA board dissolved

Sapa

President James Evans was ousted and a seven-member interim board appointed to run Athletics SA at an annual general meeting on Saturday.

Athletics South Africa's president James Evans was ousted as the board dissolved. (Gallo)

The existing Athletics South Africa (ASA) board was dissolved with the interim board appointed for six months, after which a meeting would be held to elect a new board. The seven interim board members elected on Saturday were Tebogo Masehla, Harold Adams, Aleck Skhosana, Jakes Jacobs, Daan du Toit, Steven Khanyile and Sello Mokoena.

Speaking on behalf of the acting board, Mokoena said they had been given a mandate to sort out the federation. "As it stands now ASA is under interim leadership. Seven interim directors have been appointed today to run the affairs and try to normalise the situation," Mokoena said. He said the process to remove the board started on Friday at a Special General Meeting in Johannesburg.

"It started with 11 provinces saying 'enough is enough' and deciding to put a motion in place to deal with the problems at ASA. Chief among them (the problems) was the non-progress and the difficulties of the board working together. The provinces decided the board needed to be held jointly-accountable for the situation ASA found itself in.

"The other provinces joined the 11, and the meeting was held last night." Mokoena said it was a unanimous decision to sack the board and he reiterated that the AGM was held in accordance with the ASA and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) constitution.

"Right at the point of Boland proposing the motion, the IAAF was informed. The first step come Monday is to speak to important stakeholders among the IAAF, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and the Department of Sports and Recreation," Mokoena said.

He said the interim board was likely to appoint a chairman on Monday, while Mokoena, along with Du Toit and Masehla, would go to the ASA offices on Monday and meet with the staff. He said the first item on the interim board's agenda was to look into the federation's financial status.

"The seven interim board members will need to know exactly what is happening in terms of the finances and operations of ASA. We are here are simply to ensure the athletics program runs… and that will require other resources which may need other stakeholders.

"It is common knowledge that the sport doesn't have any sponsors… the private sector needs return on their investment and, at the moment, we don't have a return for them."

At the end of June, Sascoc suspended ASA after its members ignored sanctions placed on its board. The suspension was in terms of Clause 9.3 of Sascoc's Articles of Association which gave it the power to "suspend, fine and terminate" the membership of any federation which infringed the Sascoc constitution or brought the organisation into disrepute.

Mokoena believed Saturday's decision would pave the way for the Olympic body to lift the suspension. Neither Evans nor Hendrick Ramaala attended the AGM as they were appearing in a Johannesburg High Court attempting to uphold Thursday's decision to suspend five members of ASA's provincial boards.

"The five members ignored the dispute resolution mechanisms in the Constitutions of Athletics South Africa and Sascoc and [were] also in violation of the rules of the IAAF," Evans said in a statement on Saturday.

It emerged later on Saturday that the high court judge would not grant Evans an interdict and instead suggested Evans seek arbitration to resolve his differences with the board members. – Sapa

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