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New athletics board

SASCOC board member Ray Mali on Saturday announced a nine-strong interim body to run South African athletics.

This was the veteran cricket administrator’s first action since moving into Athletics South Africa headquarters on Monday, following the suspension of ASA president Leonard Chuene and the board earlier this month over their handling of the Caster Semenya gender saga.

Provincial representatives from around the country met for approximately two hours at Olympic House, Johannesburg, headquarters of South Africa’s Olympic governing body.

The North West Province sent two delegations and Mali explained that they played no active part in Saturday’s proceedings. “Because there were two parties involved, we elected to give them observer status on this occasion. When they have a single representative they can play a further part.

The nine people now entrusted in getting track and field back on its feet are:  Hendrick Ramaala, James Evans, Blanche Moila, Geraldine Pillay, James Mokoka, Daan Louw, James Moloi, Pieter Lourens and Alex Skosana.

Olympian Ramaala is still an active athlete, having recently placed in the top 10 at the New York Marathon, Moila is still competitive on the local road running circuit. Pillay, a Commonwealth Games medallist, has been an outspoken critic of the former ASA administration.

Mali said he had been heartened by the enthusiasm shown. “It was a very positive and constructive meeting. All present realised the need for change and wanted to be part of that change.

“They are sure South African athletics can still have a bright future and all want to be part of it.”

Mali explained the next steps in the process.

“We have agreed on a two-day meeting at Athletics South Africa headquarters on November 27-28 where we will decide on the next course of action.

“It’s hard to know how long it will take to sort out the problems with athletics but after today’s meeting I’m very upbeat and don’t anticipate any undue hassles.”