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  • Writer's pictureCharles Baloyi

'I do not owe anyone an explanation' - Skhosana breaks his silence on return to competition

Athletics South Africa (ASA) president Aleck Skhosana has broken his silence on the resumption of the athletics season. Last week ASA gave athletes the good news when it announced the resumption of track and road running events. This followed a two week suspension of all athletics activities due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic for which Skhosana was blasted by athletes and coaches.

However the Coronavirus infection rate has since decreased, leading to the easing of the level 3 lockdown restrictions by President Cyril Ramaphosa just over a week ago. SA athletics' governing body responded by opening its activities three days ahead of schedule to the delight of athletes and coaches. But Skhosana is not bothered by the heavy criticism that he received from all quarters and stands by his decision to suspend events in the first place.

Skhosana speaks to the media in March 2019 after unveiling Sizwe Medical Fund, 360 Life & Twizza as the federation's new sponsors. Photo credit: ASA.

The former board member of SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) said he did not go underground contrary to reports out there. Skhosana said he had a family bereavement and was mourning the loss of a close family member. "I am always available to take on issues whatsoever. I am in mourning as I lost someone close to me. I did not dodge anyone or ignore calls to do anything. The spotlight should now be on athletes and not on the ASA board members. We should not waste our time entertaining things that happened in the past. We've opened the sport and it is up to them to go and compete. I do not owe anyone an explanation," said a furious Skhosana as he cleared the air.

Skhosana has refused to be drawn on whether he will run for president in ASA's elections. Photo Credit: ASA.

The Kwa-Zulu Natal-born administrator also commented for the first time about the ASA elections happening on 8 May. But he kept his cards close to his chest and refused to say outright whether or not he will stand for a second full-term in office. Skhosana has been in charge of ASA for six years and could stay in the job for ten years if he wins the elections. "I won't confirm nor deny that I am going for a second full term. That is for me to know and for you to find out. It is my right not to go public about whether I intend to run or not. Anyone who goes public about their intention to run for office is their personal choice, not mine. I do not want to discuss my presidential candidacy. It is not the right time to do that," said a reluctant Skhosana.

ASA CEO Terrence Magogodela told The Top Runner that according to the athletics governing body's constitution, all the 12 board members are re-nominated to run for office. The eagerly awaited elections will take place at the Southern Sun Hotel in Kempton Park on 8 May. The nominations and recommendations for office bearers are open until 3 March.

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