Ray Mali has been sent into Athletics SA to lay down the law according to Sascoc, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee. But not everybody is ready to accept new management or the supremacy of the olympic body.
Having decapitated the ASA, at least in its mind, Sascoc sent in board member Ray Mali to oversee the regime change. But even if Leonard Chuene is still missing in action (he hasn’t been seen at the office this week) the rest of the old board isn’t taking it lying down. Simon Dlamini, who is chairman of ASA’s finance committee, told the SAFM radio station that Mali won’t be taking over and dismissed Sascoc’s intervention. “We are going to defend it strongly,” he said, before conjuring images of people chained to their desks on Mali’s arrival Monday morning.
Instead of knuckling under, he said, the olympic body (the controlling body for all multi-sport international games, including but not limited to the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, World Games and All Africa Games) should prepare for a fight when it appears in Parliament on Tuesday.
That puts Mali in an interesting position. It would presumably be tough to run the association without the backing of its entrenched bureaucrats, and rebuilding the human infrastructure from scratch would take a while (never mind causing all kinds of run-ins with employment rules).
It isn’t quite clear whether the revolt is because of deep personal loyalty to Chuene, or if other administrators are simply fearing for their own jobs. Either way Sascoc will have to walk a thin line. Too little diplomacy and the association could fall apart; too much diplomacy and other wayward organisations will be harder to rein in next time around.
Photo: Athletics South Africa (ASA) President Leonard Chuene speaks to fans during the arrival of South Africa’s teenage 800 metres world champion Caster Semenya at the O.R. Tambo international airport in Johanneburg, August 25, 2009. REUTERS
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