Skhosana earned 31 of 50 votes en route to winning the election.
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After years of political power struggles, infighting, mudslinging, accusations of theft of funds, court cases and suspensions of top administrators that led to the sport of track and field in South Africa losing all its big sponsors and being brought to its knees on national level—and eventual intervention by the IAAF—Athletics South Africa (ASA) has elected the controversial Aleck Skhosana as its new President at a Special General Meeting observed by the IAAF.
In a move that many observers felt was setting the fox to keep the geese, Skhosana garnered 31 out of 50 votes to lead ASA for the next two years. Former president James Evans, who was removed from office by ASA provinces in November last year, received four votes.
Skhosana himself was discredited in 2011 when, as President of the Kwazulu-Natal provincial body (KZN), he was embroiled in a controversy around allegations that he and his executive were guilty of fraud, corruption and mismanagement that crippled the sport in the province. Skhosana then countered that the allegations were made by “a minority group of white people who are driven by hatred.”
Under Skhosana’s management, KZN was eventually declared bankrupt and the province’s clubs removed him and his entire executive at a meeting in 2012. Skhosana was replaced by Sello Mokoena.
After the unpopular Evans was removed last year (in a move that he steadfastly claimed was unconstitutional), the provinces elected an interim board under the leadership of Mokoena. This board was not recognized by the IAAF, who earlier this year sent Cheikh Thiare, the director of its president’s executive office, to intervene in ASA’s problems.
The result of Thiare’s visit was the election of an ad hoc committee that received a mandate from the IAAF to stabilize the national body and arrange new elections. Thiare ordered the warring parties to abandon all pending court cases they had instituted against one another. Members of the ad hoc committee were not allowed to stand for election in any position.
In the election for president, Mokoena received eight votes. Harold Adams, who played a leading role in the Caster Semenya saga in 2009, was elected vice president with 30 votes. Mokoena was also a candidate here and received seven votes. The new chairpersons of the three main ASA commissions are Jakes Jacobs (cross-country), who received 41 votes, James Moloi (road running), 36 votes and Pieter Lourens (track and field), 32 votes. The chairperson of the Athletes Commission is Dorah Mngwevu. Additional members of the Board are Motlatsi Keikabile, Shireen Noble, Nthatu Gwadiso and Esther Malema.
All 17 provinces attended the Special General Meeting.