Statement by Bhutana Kompela on athletics South Africa (ASA) and SASCOC

7 May 2008

Yesterday the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation met to assist SASCOC and Athletics South Africa to resolve a prolonged dispute between the two bodies. At the centre of the dispute are remarks made by the President of Athletics South Africa, Leonard Chuene on the lack of transformation in SASCOC and its affiliates. In reaction to this, SASCOC have set-up an inquiry into the conduct of Mr. Cheune for allegedly bringing the organisation into disrepute.

After lengthy discussions, the President of SASCOC, Mr. Moss Mashishi assured the Portfolio Committee that no action will be taken against Mr. Cheune for remarks made before the Portfolio Committee. It is however important for SASCOC and Athletics South Africa to resolve outstanding issues. To this effect, a meeting will take place with the Portfolio Committee to heal the rift between the parties before TEAM SOUTH AFRICA leaves for Beijing.

These events should not overshadow the sterling performance of South Africa's athletes who will be at the Beijing Olympics in August after topping the medals table at the CAA African Senior Championships concluded on Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The team returned on Tuesday with a bag full of 22 medals. Twelve of this total was gold, two silver and eight bronze. To cap this achievement fourteen athletes have qualified for the Olympics so far with Athletics South Africa confident that more will qualify as the European season progresses. On behalf of the ANC we would like to wish all athletes the very best in their preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games.

I thank you!