Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
THE South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee is looking beyond Thursday's Athletics SA council meeting to decide the fate of Leonard Chuene.
Sowetan has learnt that Banele Sindani, the former ASA chief executive, could make a dramatic comeback as the leader of the federation should Chuene step down.
Gideon Sam, Sascoc's president, told Sowetan last night: "We are definitely not part of that (people who want Sindani back at ASA)."
Chuene is known not to be a great friend of Sascoc, hence the endless public spats between ASA and the Olympic controlling body.
The tensions between ASA and Sascoc come in the wake of reports that the manner in which Chuene handled the Caster Semenya saga had also divided the sport along racial lines.
Chuene finds himself in a race issue similar to that of Cape Judge President John Hlophe as Africans and some of the coloureds, even those who do not necessarily agree with him, are forced to support him.
Chuene also reportedly enjoys support from other black sports administrators, who also want to avoid a situation where athletics revert back to the control of white administrators.
According to another national sports official, the reason Chuene has not resigned or made to quit was that many associations were reluctant to be seen to be supporting those organisations they perceive as having a historic and racial bias against Chuene.
"The feeling is that it's better to stick with Chuene on this issue despite the mess he did than hand over athletics back to whites," said one ASA board member.
A source, who has been part of these behind-the-scenes meetings, said: "Chuene erred in handling the Semenya saga the way he did, but there is no need for him to quit as ASA president."
Sowetan has also learnt that Chuene was involved in a series of meetings with various senior political leaders yesterday to brief them about the latest developments.
The influential ANC Youth League has also come out in support of Chuene, saying it would be a disgrace to remove him.
Sindani, who has also worked for ASA as a consultant after he was forced out by the previous regime of Sascoc as the athletics body's chief executive, was not available for comment.
Meanwhile, Sascoc's legal commission met yesterday to investigate ASA's role in the handling of Semenya's gender verification tests.
"The aim is to investigate whether ASA brought the sport into disrepute. We are putting them (commission) under pressure to complete the investigations," said Sam.
"All that we want to get from them as a matter of urgency is whether ASA erred in handling the matter or did everything in terms of the law."