Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
25 Feb 2014
8:00 am

Call for unity after athletics truce

Wesley Botton

Daan du Toit, chairperson of the newly appointed Athletics South Africa (ASA) ad hoc committee, has called on administrators to put their issues aside and focus on the progress of the sport.

File photo. Picture: AFP.

Du Toit was selected yesterday to lead a seven-member committee appointed by both sides of the feuding ASA leadership.

The rest of the committee consists of Colleen McNally (secretary), George Lamb, Mike Fraser, Paul van der Merwe, Brandon du Plessis and Sam Mlangeni.

“It’s very important to reunite the South African athletics family,” Du Toit said.

“We must ensure that services are provided and athletes are given opportunities to take part in international championships.”

Du Toit confirmed the committee’s first task would be to officially enter the team that had already been selected for next month’s World Indoor Championships in Sopot in Poland, ahead of today’s deadline.

A decision on whether to retain the services of Richard Stander, appointed by the previous interim board to run the ASA office, would be taken later this week.

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) representative Cheikh Thiare believed it would be crucial for ASA members to place trust in the committee in the build-up to general elections on May 24.

None of the seven committee members would be allowed to stand for election for the new executive, while the former board led by James Evans and the interim board members appointed at the ASA AGM in November would not be allowed to vote.

“This committee has to conduct a very difficult series of tasks,” Thiare said.

“It will be very demanding on their private lives and financial resources, so they need to be supported.”

Thiare recommended the appointment of a neutral committee after meeting with both sides of the leadership battle at the weekend. Du Toit was grateful to Thiare for assisting the federation.

“We would like to thank the IAAF for caring about South African athletics and helping us find a solution to take the sport forward.”