Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
24 Sep 2013
7:00 am

Refusal to meet widens athletics rift

Wesley Botton

The rift in Athletics South Africa's (ASA) board has further expanded with the federation's president, James Evans, refusing to call a meeting.

FILE PICTURE: James Evans, Chairperson of the ASA Board. Picture: Chris Ricco/Backpagepix.

Six of the 11 executive members – Pieter Lourens, James Moloi, Shireen Noble, Esther Malema, Nthatu Gwadiso and Mlungisi Mnyengeza sent Evans a letter last week requesting a board meeting.

Clause 20.4 of the ASA constitution states that a minimum of four board meetings must be called by the president each year the last was held in January and clause 20.5 states that a meeting must be called if requested by three or more members of the executive.

“In the past seven months you alone have been making decisions on behalf of ASA,” the six board members wrote. Evans turned down the request because the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) representative Cheikh Thiare had been copied on the letter.

Thiare was appointed recently to work with International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative Sam Ramsamy in an attempt to mend the broken ties between ASA and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).

Evans said he had already discussed a possible board meeting with ASA vice-president Hendrick Ramaala and notice was due to go out, but he had now placed a halt on proceedings.

“Since the IAAF are copied on this e-mail, I will await their response as to what role they believe they should be taking in an internal matter,” Evans wrote in his response.

Pieter Lourens, representing the six executive members, told Evans they weren’t looking for a confrontation with him, and Thiare was not expected to respond to the letter.

“We are still awaiting an official response from the office of the president of ASA.” The six board members previously accused Evans, who also turned down a recent request for a special general meeting (SGM) for apparent constitutional reasons, of “misleading and antagonising” the public and the media.

They claimed he had ignored an instruction at an SGM in December to revise the contract with the SABC, which restricted broadcast rights for road races.

Evans, however, accused them of lying. “They must stop their nonsense,” he said.