Special General Meeting leaves CGA President Khanyile sidelined pending outcome of forensic report
The battle to lead Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) took another turn this weekend when a special general meeting upheld the decision taken in August to place president Steven Khanyile on a leave of absence pending the outcome of a forensic audit. Khanyile is accused of embezzlement while serving as the treasurer of the Soweto Marathon Trust (SMT) which lead to CGA placing him on a leave of absence him back in August after the Diepkloof Athletic Club penned a letter to CGA calling for his suspension. But the man who took over leadership of the provincial athletics federation back in March 2022 has maintained right from the outset that the allegations are completely without merit.
CGA Board Member Zongamele Dyubeni who heads up the Athletes' Commission says his concern is that due process was not followed when the president was forced to step aside. Dyubeni says he is not defending Khyanile nor commenting on the merits of the embezzlement allegations levelled against him. The former top runner turned administrator says he questions the legitimacy of the process that was followed to effectively suspend Khanyile because as he far as he knows, an official disciplinary hearing did not even take place.
"There was a board meeting on the 5th of August where we agreed that the board would wait for the findings of a forensic audit before taking any action. So I was surprised when the Deputy President of CGA Karabo Mabilo contacted us on Saturday 19 August to attend a virtual meeting on Sunday night on 20 August 2023. Remember that according to our constitution, seven days notice is required for any board meeting other than the AGM or Council meetings to take place. As a duly elected member I could not in good conscience attend this meeting where the decision was then taken to put Khanyile on a leave of abscence," he explained.
With Athletics South Africa (ASA) President James Moloi was absent from the meeting at the Germiston Stadium on Saturday, it was left to ASA Road Running Chairperson Enock Skosana to observe as the Gauteng Sports Confederation advised CGA members to be careful and abide by their own constitution in the absence of tested evidence of embezzlement against Khanyile, which were not presented in full on Saturday. As lawyers argued and some speakers were heckled at the tense meeting, members eventually agreed for the elected president to remain sidelined until the forensic report is tabled at the end of January, during which time Mabilo will continue in an acting capacity.
Although Khanyile maintains his innocence and believes that the report will clear his name, he refused to comment saying only that he will respect the process and reserve his comments until after the forensic report has been submitted in early 2024. "I wish to allow the process agreed to in our Special General Meeting on Saturday to take off without any interference. I do not want to go outside the correct processes."