• Charles Baloyi

Mokganyetsi to challenge Mathane for AGN Presidency while LJ van Zyl stands for athletes commission

Three-time Olympian Hendrick Mokganyetsi has broken his silence on his ambitions to run for the Athletics Gauteng Athletics (AGN) presidency. However, there are surprise packages such as Commonwealth Games gold medalist LJ van Zyl and Stephen Mokoka's wife Zintle Mokoka who are also contesting the AGN elections. Mokganyetsi who currently serves as head of the athletes commission has raised his hand for the AGN hot seat saying it is time for a leadership change and he is that change to take AGN forward.


After serving as AGN Athletes Commission Chair, Mokganyetsi believes the time is right for him to the lead AGN. Photo Credit: MWMEDIA.

“I am ready to serve AGN as its president and all that I am asking for is a chance to lead the provincial athletics body. I am the change needed to take AGN places. It's time for a change of leadership and I am raising my hand not just as a former athlete, but as a vastly experienced administrator," Mokganyesti told #TheTopRunner. The Nomination Committee released the list for the elections on Tuesday evening ahead of the eagerly anticipated elections which takes place at the Pilditch Stadium on 20 March. The 45-year-old retired athlete is up against AGN president John Mathane, James Matshekga of Arcadia Athletics Club who previously served as a vice president and Violet Khumalo for the presidency.


Working with his campaign managers Enoch Skhosana and Menzie Eyethu AC, the man who won a bronze medal for Team South Africa in the 4X400m relay at the 1999 World Championships says his focus as president will be on increasing AGN's international and provincial success. His manifesto is big on development and talent identification. He wants to introduce a succession plan for the likes of sprint ace Akani Simbine and multiple Olympic champion Caster Semenya when they retire.


Current AGN President John Mathane (being honoured by ASA President Aleck Skhosana) believes he will win the elections and serve another term. Photo Credit: ASA.

“We have a pool of athletes that are ready to step in and replace Akani and Caster when they retire. I want to develop athletes and coaches. Our motto is to put athletes first and bring back sponsors to athletics. I want to increase prize money in our competitions and to help athletes to go to Europe," explained Mokganyetsi who also doubles as a coach at the Tshwane University of Tshwane mentoring athletes such as long-distance runner Milton Kekana. .


The man who took part in three International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships in Athens 1997, Seville 1991, and Edmonton in 2001, believes he can pull a rabbit out of the hat and unseat the popular two-term incumbent Mathane. “I decided to contest the elections now after I was approached by several clubs and top athletes to run for the presidency. I am available to lead. It's time to change AGN and the people demand it," he said.


Mokganyetsi the coach with his athlete (World Student Games 10 000m champion) Milton Kekana. Photo Credit: ASA.

The AGN board member thinks his record of accomplishments speaks for itself. He was the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) Athletics Commission member from 2008 until 2009. Mokganyetsi also held a position as the ASA Athletics Commission chair from 2007 to 2009. “I know the presidency is a big position, but based on my experience and vast knowledge I am the right person for this job. My background talks for itself. The voters will vote for me because I am advocating for a change. I am taking the challenge and if I win the elections, I will not forfeit my other roles in the sport," he told The Top Runner.


They say those good athletes do not always make good administrators, but Mokganyetsi begs to differ. “It’s not necessarily true. I've heard politicians say that. Nevertheless, you have to have passion and develop over time in order to be a good administrator. I am willing to put in the hard work and do my research to excel in this position," he insisted.

The pair are contesting the Athletes Commission Chairperson positions. Mokganyetsi claimed he achieved many things as the AGN Athletics Commission chair. “I supported athletes with the Covid-19 relief fund. I gave them an ear and listened to their problems. I helped them to go overseas and when I came to AGN there was no budget for that, but today we have a budget allocated for the needs of athletes. All that I am asking for is a chance to be the new president,” he said.


World Championship bronze medalist and Commonwealth Games gold medalist LJ van Zyl is contesting the AGN Elections. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

There are eleven positions up for grabs on the AGN board and Mokganyetsi is contesting for three positions - the presidency, vice-presidency, and the Athletics Commission Chairperson. Should the former SA 400m record holder (44.59 secs in Yokohama, Japan in 2000) win the election and end up leading the regional federation then his current position on the board as head of the athletes commission would be taken by someone else. van Zyl, Mokoka and retired Top Runner Enoch Skhosana are contesting that position. About 209 members will gather under the same roof to elect the new AGN board on March 20.



AGN election nomination list


President

John Mathane - Mamelodi Athletics Club.

Hendrick Mokganyetsi - DCS Pretoria.

Violet Khumalo - Shosholoza Athletics Club.

James Matshekga - Acardia Athletics Club

Vice-president

John Mathane - Mamelodi Athletics Club.

Hendrick Mokganyetsi - DCS Pretoria.

Violet Khumalo - Shosholoza Athletics Club.

James Matshekga - Acardia Athletics Club

Chris Britz - Tuks

Sipho Shawe - Ekangala Athletics Club

Fundi Hlobo - Tuks

Midah Shonah Manamela - Cot AC

Athletes Commission Chairperson

Lukhanyo Mabinza - Eyethu AC.

Mariam Mooki - DCS

LJ van Zyl - Tuks

Hendrick Mokganyetsi - DCS PTA

Mulalo Mammburu - Faranani AC

Enoch Skhosana - Nedbank AC

Zintle Mokoka - SGR AC

Peter Nteo - Cultivation AC

Dan Koane - Ford AC

Mooki PM - Correctional Service

John Mathane - Mamelodi AC

Cross Country Chairperson

Buks Meyer - GMMA

Catherine Skhosana - Born 2 Run

Bongani Zondi - Education AC

Emmanuel Nkwane - Ford AC

Race Walking Chairperson

Chris Callaghan - Love Running

Chris Britz - Tuks AC

Thokozani Ntuli - Atteridgeville AC

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