Ath­letes call for ASA boss to go

Sunday World - - The Back Page - DAVID ISAACSON

RUN­NING le­gend Xo­lile Yawa led a march of re­tired and ac­tive ath­letes in Joburg yes­ter­day to protest against the Ath­let­ics South Africa (ASA) lead­er­ship. The 50-odd demon­stra­tors who in­cluded Olympians Stephen Mokoka and Burger Lam­brechts, sprinter Si­mon Ma­gakwe and mid­dle-dis­tance run­ner Gladwin Mzazi

are de­mand­ing that the board or­gan­ise fresh elec­tions by Fe­bru­ary.

Yawa s or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Leg­endary Ath­letes of SA, wants a re­sponse from ASA within two weeks. Car­ry­ing plac­ards read­ing Enough is enough”, SA ath­letes love ath­let­ics” and James Evans step down now the marchers trekked from Jo­han­nes­burg Sta­dium to Ath­let­ics House in Houghton, singing protest songs along the way.

Some claimed that this was the first time in this coun­try that sports peo­ple had marched on a na­tional fed­er­a­tion.

Cape Town-based Evans, ASA s pres­i­dent, sent vi­cepres­i­dent Hen­drick Ra­maala to ac­cept a six-page mem­o­ran­dum from Yawa.

Asked where Evans was, Ra­maala replied: If you want him, fly to Cape Town. He doesn’t have bucks to come, he doesn’t have a bank ac­count.”

ASA s ac­count has been at­tached by one of its cred­i­tors, and this week staff were no­ti­fied that they would re­ceive their Novem­ber salaries late.

They were paid late for Oc­to­ber, too, and early in the year they didn’t re­ceive a cent for two months.

ASA also re­cently can­celled the ser­vices of the se­cu­rity com­pany guard­ing its premises it owed them more than R100 000 but has since con­tracted a new se­cu­rity provider.

ASA board mem­ber An­dre Gobey, who said he went there of his own ac­cord, told the pro­test­ers: We are sorry for what is hap­pen­ing, but we will try to re­solve things, even if we have to step down.

The board is fac­ing a bit­ter fight for sur­vival with as many as 13 of ASA’s 17 mem­ber prov­inces said to be sup­port­ing the call for a spe­cial gen­eral meet­ing on Novem­ber 29 to pass a vote of no con­fi­dence in the lead­er­ship.

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