Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
5 Nov 2013
7:00 am

Evans likened to ‘Idi Amin’

Wesley Botton

The Soweto Marathon Trust launched a scathing attack yesterday on Athletics South Africa (ASA) president James Evans, comparing him to former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

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

The trust said Evans had turned down a requested meeting between itself and the ASA board.

“The only difference between Mr Evans’ rule in athletics in South Africa and Idi Amin’s rule in Uganda is that Mr Evans has not killed anyone, but is busy killing the sport of athletics,” the trust said in a statement.

The trust continued its onslaught in defence of its rights to hold the race, after it was revealed on Friday that former Comrades Marathon winner and race promoter Nick Bester had informed trust spokesman Banele Sindani on September 11 that he had secured a sponsor for the 42km race.

Sindani refused the offer and the event, scheduled to be held at the weekend, was cancelled for the first time in more than 20 years.

He told Bester the trust would make Evans “curse the day he was born” if he allowed someone other than the trust to organise the race.

“They will go into Soweto, but they won’t come out.”

The trust maintained its claim for a portion of the broadcast rights fees for the event, which Evans had denied because all races registered with ASA were sold as part of a package deal to the national broadcaster.

While the trust signed a memorandum of understanding with ASA and provincial body Central Gauteng Athletics in November last year, Evans said the race was not property that could be claimed by ownership.

“If ASA does not endorse the event then it is not endorsed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and will not be recognised,” Evans said.