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Johannesburg – Athletics SA (ASA) president James Evans says he will open a case of fraud on Monday following reports of corruption in the federation's financial department.
“The indications, backed by documentary evidence, are that there has been theft and fraud,” Evans said on Saturday, in the first official ASA statement in the wake of his impeachment last week.
“The board has failed to act on those allegations, but has rather acted on information from the finance department in making allegations against me.
“Due to the failure by the board to act, I will be ensuring that a complaint is laid with the South African Police on Monday morning.”
Evans went on to dispel media reports quoting ASA vice-president Hendrick Ramaala, who said Evans had been removed as president of the athletics body, and Evans said he would resume his duties on Monday.
“On more than one occasion this past week, in correspondence to myself and my attorneys, Mr Hendrick Ramaala, the deputy president of Athletics South Africa, and self-styled acting president, has acknowledged that all that was passed was a motion of impeachment,” Evans said.
“A simple reading of any dictionary will indicate that all that the word 'impeachment' means is that the person is accused or charged.”
Evans said, according to the ASA constitution, an impeachment had to be dealt with in terms of clause 17, which covers the removal of a board or commission member. This still needed to happen, Evans said.
However, he maintained that the special general meeting held in Kempton Park last week, where he was impeached, was unconstitutional.
Ramaala said 33 of the delegates at the meeting voted for impeachment and one against while four abstained.
However, Evans, who did not attend the meeting, disputed these numbers.
“There were only 27 members present, with the quorum being 26,” he said.
“Six of the 17 provincial members were not present, having indicated in writing that they would not attend, two attended and contested the constitutionality of the meeting and two voted against the mandate which had been given by their provinces in writing before the meeting.”
Evans said 10 provincial members had called for the meeting not to proceed and for a commission of enquiry into the board, the finances and the structure of ASA.
“That proposal was ignored, but many of the provincial members have renewed, in writing, their call for a fresh meeting, to reconsider the matter and call for a commission of enquiry.
“In the end, it is the will of the provinces, having received proper mandates from their members, which must prevail.”
Evans said Ramaala refused to accept arguments against the constitutionality of the meeting by several people, including a number of provinces. He had therefore requested the matter be referred to arbitration.
He also claimed his plane ticket from Cape Town to Johannesburg was cancelled due to non-payment by ASA and he was denied the opportunity to attend the meeting.
The ongoing dispute is the latest in a string of controversies and in-fighting which has damaged the embattled federation for the last few years, leaving ASA without a commercial sponsor to fund the domestic track and field and road running seasons.
The operations of the organisation had been disrupted to the extent, according to Evans, that a team had not been entered for the African Youth Athletics Championships.
“Also, payment of outstanding prize money from the Soweto Marathon has not been paid despite there being funds in that account to pay them,” Evans said. – Sapa