Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
7 Jun 2014
11:00 am

Ready to fix ASA mess

Wesley Botton

As Athletics South Africa (ASA) prepares to elect its new leadership in Johannesburg today, there is one thing the nominees for the president's post have agreed upon – the federation is in a mess and needs urgent attention.

Picture: Thinkstock

The special general meeting will be overseen by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) representative Cheikh Thiare and ASA members are hoping the elections will herald the start of a new era for the crippled body.

Former president James Evans, who stepped down in February after long-running conflict within his executive, insisted that members of the federation needed to be held more accountable.

“Too much power is in the hands of the national federation and with that goes the expectation that the national federation is responsible for everything,” Evans said in his manifesto.

Sello Mokoena, who led the ASA interim board for a short period after the members tried to remove Evans and his executive late last year, believed it was crucial to form a solid executive around the body’s president.

“Current nominees with individual strengths and weaknesses may, in the correct permutation, produce just the right team to usher required results in the next two years,” Mokoena said.

Durban lawyer Steve Mkasi, perhaps the least-known of the four nominees, agreed with Evans that the ASA constitution was in urgent need of revision.

Mkasi hoped his relative inexperience as an athletics administrator would work in his favour, with other nominees carrying baggage from the federation’s rocky past.

“For ASA to emerge from this situation would require a strong leadership, untainted by the current mudslinging, which is committed to principles of good governance, able to rise above narrow interests and prioritise the needs of athletes,” Mkasi said in his manifesto.