Five men fighting to carry the ASA baton

Wesley Botton.

In the build-up to what is hopefully the end of a lengthy turbulent period for Athletics South Africa, the federation’s members will need to consider carefully who they place in control of the crippled body when they cast their votes at next month’s elections.

The new board will be the seventh group of individuals, either permanent or interim, to run the federation’s affairs in less than five years.

These are the five nominees standing as president:

James Evans

Twice elected to the ASA president’s seat, Evans was accused of autocracy during his three-year tenure.

Last year he fought his impeachment by the ASA council and later ignored a unanimous vote of no confidence from members, driven by more than half his own executive, as he clung to the post.

He refused to call a board meeting for the last 12 months of his incumbency and was forced to step down by the IAAF in February after the federation was found to have been brought to a standstill.

Though most of the organisation’s financial woes were inherited from the previous leadership, Evans and his executive failed to stabilise the athletics body.

Sello Mokoena

Mokoena accepted a challenging task late last year, leading the interim board for a short period before the IAAF arrived in February.

His committee, appointed by the ASA members while Evans and his depleted board fought their removal, was never officially recognised internationally but stood firm until they were made to step aside to pave the way for democratic elections.

Mokoena has had little time to prove his ability at national level, and while he seems to have successfully tackled financial problems as president of KZNA, he has struggled to solve the province’s ongoing internal conflict.

Aleck Skhosana

A controversial administrator, Skhosana led KZNA during one of its darkest periods.

While he was in charge, the province was accused of rampant maladministration and the misuse of Lotto funds, though Skhosana denied any wrongdoing.

Mokoena played an integral role in removing him from the KZNA president’s seat in April 2012, and his endorsement by the people who previously ousted him is perhaps the biggest surprise among the list of nominees.

Harold Adams

Adams will once again try to secure the top ASA post, after failing twice in the last three years.

Having lost to Evans at board elections in 2011 and again in 2012, he will hope his long-time rival has lost enough faith from the members in an attempt to replace him.

Adams, a medical doctor, ordered the controversial tests on Caster Semenya in Pretoria in 2009 which resulted in a lengthy gender debacle and ultimately the banning of three ASA board members.

He was implicated in the controversy but was not found guilty of any offence.

Steve Mkasi

The least-known individual of the five nominees, Mkasi will go into elections as a dark horse.

A lawyer from Durban, who was nominated by the Savages Athletics Club, Mkasi was vocal about his concern for the sport during an open meeting with IAAF representative Cheikh Thiare in Pretoria in February.

He is the only nominee who carries no baggage from the federation’s long-running battles over the last few years.





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