Top Runners cry foul after months of non-payment from Alfred Baphethuxolo Nzo Half Marathon
Despite promises from the race organizer that all outstanding amounts will be settled this month, top runners say they've heard these stories before and no longer trust what they are being told. The second annual Alfred Baphethuxolo Nzo Half Marathon run in honour of late Apartheid struggle veteran Alfred Nzo took place on the 26th of June in the Eastern Cape town of Matatiele featuring a half marathon, 10km and 5k run. But almost four months after the race athletes have still not received their prize monies and are fed up.
"When we ask when we will be paid, they tell us that they are still busy and will pay us soon," said Maxed Elite Running Club's Teboho Noosi who took fourth place in the men's 21km race. "They asked us for our banking details which we have sent and yet there is still no payment. We even supplied affidavits and copies of our passports as requested. but when we ask when we will be paid they keep shifting the goal posts by telling us that they are still waiting for some runners to submit the correct documentation," explained the man who claimed fourth place during the 2018 Soweto Marathon.
Noosi's frustration is shared by a number of his countrymen who live and train in Lesotho but race in South Africa. In total more than fifteen athletes who competed in the 21km and 10km events were still awaiting payment as of 23 October, 2023. But race organiser Tumelo Sesathi has given a green light by stating the first batch of athletes were due to be paid by Friday 13 October with the balance to be settled by the 25th of October. According to Sesathi, came about as a result of a delay in funds from the Alfred Nzo Municipality which was the main sponsor of the race.
"Firstly, I must apologise for the delay," he told #TheTopRunner. "Yes, I'm much aware of the concerns regarding the athletes who are yet to receive their prize money from our event. Most of them have been communicating with me to ask about the way forward. The issue is that we receive funds from the municipality so on their side they have been slow. Another thing is that other athletes failed to submit all the requirement documents for the funds to be processed. I can assure you though first athletes will be paid tomorrow ( Friday 13 October) then the others will be paid as time goes on," said Sesathi. Sesathi has also asked other athletes to come forward as some are not reachable via the contact details they supplied. "Another worrying factor is that at least five athletes are not reachable on contact numbers they have provided. So I beg them to come forward in order to get their funds. In fact, all winners must reach out to me to ensure everything are in place so the process will go smoothly."