Athletics factions find shaky common ground

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

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

The feuding factions in Athletics South Africa (ASA) seemed to agree on something for the first time yesterday, when they admitted an ongoing court case was causing damage to the sport.

The legal battle between ASA president James Evans and five provincial board members, who both claimed the other party was still suspended, was postponed yesterday to March 31 as the matter had not been placed on the roll at the South Gauteng High Court.

“We cannot keep going back and forth, kicking each other out like this,” Evans said. “We need to put a plan in place to be able to sort this out.”

Mokoena, meanwhile, hoped the interim board would soon be able to shift its focus from internal legal battles. “When this case was last heard, even the judge said that while the administrators were in court, the athletes were suffering,” Mokoena said.

“We should be talking about hosting the Southern Region Cross Country Championships (next week), not court cases.”

Evans suspended the five provincial board members after they went over his head and calledĀ for a special general meeting in November, where a vote of no-confidence in Evans and his executive was taken.

While the affiliates filed an urgent application at the High Court in Johannesburg, allowing them to attend the meeting and preventing Evans from taking part, Evans said they slipped up by not asking the judge to reinstate them. “They are still suspended, and it’s entirely their fault that the matter was not heard today, as the applicants did not set it down on the roll,” he said, accusing the five affiliates of incompetence.

The provincial executives, however, claimed their suspensions had been lifted by the judge, and the only outstanding issue was costs. Mokoena accused Evans of waiting until the last minute to submit court papers to save himself from footing the bill.

“Evans lost the case in November. We have nothing to worry about,” he said.




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