Mathane insists that he is eligible to run for AGN President
Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) has been inundated with phone calls from clubs to inquire about John Mathane's eligibility to stand for president in the upcoming elections. Last week Mathane spoke to The Top Runner, confirming his availability to run for the presidency. But there is confusion surrounding his legitimacy as the constitution does not allow for the both vice-president and president to serve for more than two terms. The AGN boss has already served two terms in office.
Clubs and council members alike appear to be confused when it comes to the rules, while others are divided about Mathane running for office again. They think that he is contravening the rules and his competitors are not happy that he is in line to be president for the third time. But Mathane described this as nothing but a smear campaign instigated by his rivals. The man who had already been elected as vice-president of the regional athletics federation back in 2013 says he is not a dictator.
According to the AGN constitution 14.2.8 clause the President and vice-president of AGN, may not serve more than two consecutive in office. But Mathane said the AGN constitution was amended in September 2019 and endorsed in November 2020, paving the way for him to run for a third term.
"I know who is spreading these lies about me. It's because that person wants to run for president. But let me clear the air and explain how the constitution got amended. We used to hold elections every two years, but we amended the constitution, and starting from the March elections a newly elected board will now serve for a four-year cycle. The council amended the constitution and scraped off the previous two terms. If I win the elections, I will then serve my first four-year term. It will be my first term and that would mean I am still eligible to have another four years and eight years in total before I can be disqualified," explained Mathane.
He added that he is disappointed that some members of the council don't know how to interpret the rules. "We've received lots of emails and calls from clubs and there is big confusion. But it's a misunderstanding created by people that want the presidency. We will issue a statement this week to clear this misunderstanding," said Mathane.
The incumbent says it's up to the people to decide if he stays as president or not. "I wanted to leave the presidency, but I was asked to stay on. The people want me here and let them decide if I become a president or not. According to the new amendment, I will be contesting the elections for the first time. Whoever that is doing this must stop spreading wrong information as it confuses clubs, athletes, and the members of the council," said a furious Mathane.
He advised clubs, members, and athletes that are confused to familiarize themselves with the amended constitution. The eagerly awaited elections take place in Tshwane on 20 March and the names of the candidates contesting for the 11 positions on the board will be announced on 19 February.