JOHANNESBURG - A storm is brewing in KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) as it is fighting against a rebel group of clubs looking to break away and register as a new province under Athletics South Africa (ASA).
Convinced that ASA would grant uMgungundlovu Athletics territorial membership, KZNA interdicted the national body from considering accepting their application.
In a letter addressed to KZNA, uMgungundlovu Athletics representative Mac Chitja requested a meeting with the province to discuss its secession.
“uMgungundlovu have organised themselves into a structure referred to as uMgungundlovu Athletics,” Chitja wrote in the letter.
“The clubs have resolved to apply for membership of ASA in terms of Clause 6 of the constitution of ASA.
“We seek a meeting with KZNA executives thereof to discuss the best way to manage this process.”
Athletics SA chief executive officer Richard Stander said that although clubs can approach the mother body, they encourage provincial unions to deal with such matters among each other.
“Clause 6 allows anyone to apply for membership with ASA and we receive a lot of requests like that and we refer them back to the province if they are a registered member,” Stander said.
“At their annual meeting, they can discuss whatever the reason may be why they want to break away. They have to motivate the reason to the council and they can then decide if there is merit to the application and then approach ASA.”
KZNA’s legal action was one of the issues that compelled ASA to launch a task team to investigate the provincial body.
At its council meeting on Saturday in Kempton Park, the membership of ASA instructed the board to convene a task team to investigate KZNA.
“Members were also formally informed that KZNA has taken ASA to the high court on a matter that the national federation feels is not party to,” the athletics body said in a statement.
“ASA has given its lawyers instructions to oppose the matter. Members again expressed their displeasure that the mother body is being forced to spend huge financial resources to defend the matter, which they said could have been directed to athletes and other important things.”
KZNA has been accused of ignoring council decisions and for attacking the national federation on social media.
“The Council ruled that the ASA constitution should be adhered to and that KZNA will not be allowed to bend the rules to suit them at the expense of progress of the Athletics Family,” ASA said in a statement.