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Power struggle continues

The tug-of-war in South African athletics continues this week as SASCOC, South Africa’s Olympic governing body, attempt to sort out the running of the sport.

Veteran cricket administrator and SASCOC board member Ray Mali moved in to to Athletics South Africa headquarters on Monday with some resistance from general manager Motlatelo Malehopo, who at first appeared to accept the move but then later returned and had to be escorted off the premises, necessitating the changing of the locks at the venue.

One of Mali’s first moves has been to call a meeting of all the provincial members of ASA at Olympic House in Johannesburg on Saturday where it is planned to elect an interim council to run athletics.

But embattled and suspended ASA chairperson Leonard Chuene has himself called a special ASA members’ meeting in Kempton Park also for Saturday to discuss SASCOC’s alleged interference, as well as the leadership of ASA.

Richard Stander of Boland Athletics does not expect Chuene to stand back as he was voted in by ASA and will remain chairperson until voted out. Stander told News24 that he believes Chuene is conveniently not disclosing what was decided at an ASA members’ meeting in Kempton Park on 24 September.

ÔÇ£It was not just that Chuene and ASA’s executive council have full support. It was also decided that ASA will co-operate if any investigation follows Chuene’s lies and ASA’s handling of the Caster Semenya issue,ÔÇØ he said. ÔÇ£Now it is not happening. It comes down to Chuene and his supporters defying an official council decision.ÔÇØ

Stander also pointed out that SASCOC were the highest authority in South African sport and that they work together with Government.

Tubby Reddy, SASCOC CEO, emphasied that a breakaway was the last thing SASCOC wanted. ÔÇ£All we want to do is to bring an end to the chaos in South African athletics, so that it can benefit athletes and coaches,ÔÇØ he said.