Mokoena out of the ASA Election race as KZNA refuse to endorse him on election deadline day
Former Kwa-Zulu Natal Athletics (KZNA) president Sello Mokoena is out of the running for the Athletics South Africa (ASA) elections. On a dramatic final day when nominations closed yesterday, Mokoena did not get endorsed by his home province in KZNA leaving his presidential ambitions to disappear into thin air.
Word coming from the newly elected KZNA board is that the executive opted to endorse other candidates instead of the man who had been vocal about contesting for the ASA presidency. Newly elected KZNA president Steve Mkasi told #TheTopRunner before the ASA election nomination deadline at 4pm yesterday that his executive would not back more than one KZN candidate per position. Insiders say that KZNA opted to go for current ASA boss Aleck Skhosana instead of Mokoena which means that the latter's name will be absent from the list of candidates contesting for the ASA board positions which will be sent from ASA head office in Johannesburg to the provinces next week Friday on the 16th of April.
When the Top Runner approached the outspoken Mokoena to comment, he confirmed the news and said that he is no longer in the running for the ASA presidency. “Yes, it is true. I am no longer contesting the elections. While I note KZNA's comment that despite ASA constitution and policy, as well as the fact that members of the athletics community, owing to my track record as an athlete and administrator have confidence in me, my skills, qualifications, and experience, that the provincial federation wouldn’t endorse my candidacy for any position, I must add that this was not unexpected. It is public knowledge that allows members of the athletics family choice of their leaders in a free and fair election was not what they would subscribe to," Mokoena told #TheTopRunner.
KZNA boss Mkasi said the province would only back one presidential candidate. "As the executive, we will agree on the candidate that we will support for any position," he explained.
However, Mokoena is surprised by this comment because in 2014 the federation endorsed six people. “It must be noted that in 2014 the KZNA Board, as per the constitution, endorsed no less than 6 names to serve on various structures of ASA. As a sign of administrative strength from the province, this included the current ASA president, who is currently deemed to be automatically nominated for his position in terms of the ASA constitution; he does not need provincial endorsement. The board’s function is to respect the will of the members and not serve as a gatekeeper on their behalf unless for them self-importance trumps the opportunity to serve," said Mokoena.
Now that he is out of the running Mokoena intends to use the next few years pursuing his life-long dream of completing his Ph.D. studies and coaching young athletes in his area. Mokoena thanked everyone that threw their weight behind his ambition of becoming an ASA presidential candidate. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the athletics family provincially and nationally. Athletes such as Mokoena, Kelehe, Mzazi, Nkosi Sibiya, and many others, their coaching and management teams as well as many ASA provincial members who have always placed their confidence in me, and would urge them to never lose sight of the finish line, the sun will shine again," he said.
On the bright side, Mokoena said there is a positive aspect as prominent athletes are venturing into administration. He said this is good for the future of the sport promising that he would not be lost to athletics. “I am thrilled to note that flag-bearers such as Khotso Mokoena and others have entered the administrative phase of their careers to help young talent through SASCOC. It is where they are likely to allow them to use their immense achievements to serve rather than become part of the inner circle of patronage in support of geriatric administrators. I hope other highly regarded senior athletes such as the Phalula twins, L J van Zyl, Stephen Mokoka, and others can join in and enter genuine sports administration through the door opened by SASCOC for them. I will continue to be competitive in Cross Country and subject myself to be led by these great young minds," Mokoena added.
It is understood that KZNA are backing the presidential candidacy of Skhosana. The ASA Elections take place 8 May at the Southern Sun Hotel in Kempton Park where twelve board positions will be up for grads.