The embattled KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) board received some respite this week, though a court decision in the executive body’s favour has left the sport in a state of uncertainty in the province.
Suspended by Athletics South Africa (ASA) in November, the KZNA board had approached the South Gauteng High Court in an attempt to have the decision overturned after claiming they had been unlawfully removed, but they were allegedly informed that they would need to defend themselves as individuals at their own costs.
Subsequently, ASA had placed interim administrator Jay Reddy in control of the KZNA office and ordered an audit of the provincial organisation’s finances, while a task team was put in place to address urgent matters including the sale of 2019 licence numbers.
Returning to court this week, however, the suspended provincial executive regained control, with a judgment at the high court in Durban ordering ASA to return all 2019 licence numbers, as well as the money the interim administration had received for the sale of KZNA licences.
The national federation was also ordered to stop disciplinary procedures against the KZNA board.
While the interim task team had apparently already issued 10 000 of the province’s 16 000 licences, the KZNA executive believed it could resolve any potential registration issues.
“The KZNA board will meet as a matter of urgency to put in place a procedure for orderly and speedily distribution of licences,” KZNA said in response to the judgment.
Richard Stander, the ASA chief executive, previously claimed that the KZNA board had repeatedly clashed with the national federation in recent years.
There were also alleged concerns about the provincial body’s financial situation, with KZNA having controversially raised race levies by 50%.
The KZNA board, however, claimed the organisation was financially stable and ASA did not have the constitutional right to remove board members from their posts without following due processes, including attempted arbitration.