ASA to appoint commission of inquiry

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Evans_ASA1 Gallo Images James Evans and his board members are in a battle to retake control of Athletics South Africa. Picture: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Athletics South Africa (ASA) says an independent commission of inquiry will be appointed to investigate the conduct of its board members.

The decision was made at an ASA special general meeting in Pretoria on Saturday, which was called by the federation's provincial members as they attempted to regain control of the sport.

"The members instructed the leadership of the sport to get on with the administration of the sport and leave politics aside," the federation said in a statement.

The meeting was attended by 13 of the provincial and associate members, according to ASA - the exact number needed to constitute a quorum - with apologies tendered by four provincial members.

The ASA members decided to reinstate the elected board, the federation said, after the entire executive was suspended by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), but in-fighting between senior officials would no longer be tolerated.

A dispute between Evans and vice-president Hendrick Ramaala had seemingly torn the board into separate factions earlier this year, with Evans fighting his impeachment and attempted removal.

The athletics body said the inquiry commission would investigate whether Ramaala and six other board members brought the sport into disrepute when they tried to suspend Evans without following the federation's constitution, and would also look into allegations against the president.

The meeting passed numerous other motions, with only two abstentions. Members confirmed their right to "resolve their matters and problems internally, free from outside interference", while "dissatisfaction was shown in the entire ASA board for the manner in which they handled their internal differences and the sport of athletics".

A commission would be appointed to "urgently revise the ASA constitution to bring it in line with the Companies Act and the IAAF constitution".

Sascoc suspended the ASA board in April and appointed administrator Zola Majavu as interim chief, to clear up the athletics body's mounting debt.

However, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) stood by Evans and the board this month when it said it still recognised the elected ASA executive and did not recognise Majavu.

Sascoc said this week it was willing to allow the IAAF to appoint an ad-hoc committee, if necessary, to normalise the sport, after Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy met with representatives of the global body in Lausanne.  – Sapa



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