'They are after my head'

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Athletics South Africa (ASA) boss Leonard Chuene believes South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) is hellbent on destroying him ahead of the much-vaunted elections next month.

The ASA will elect its new office bearers next month.

Chuene believes recent negative media reports were part of a campaign to discredit him ahead of the elections.

"I was not surprised by an article in a Sunday newspaper that alleged I have a relationship with my personal assistant (Humile Bogatsu), Chuene said.

"I know there are people from Sascoc who want to destroy me ahead of the elections.

"I have a pending case with Sascoc and they are trying everything possible to destroy me. But I'm ready for them. They accused me of discrediting them in parliament.

"We are aware that they sometimes have meetings with some of our athletes to influence them to undermine my leadership.

"I want people to come out with proof that I have a relationship with my PA. I don't want to deal with faceless people. Last year they did the same, today they are fabricating stories - and their allegations are baseless and will remain as such."

This is not the first time that Chuene's leadership has been questioned.

Last week, media reports insinuated that he might have been behind the resignation of general manager Linda Ferns a fortnight ago.

But Chuene flatly denied that Ferns was pushed out at the national controlling body that she had served for more than a decade.

Some people argue that Chuene is a major threat ahead of the Sascoc elections at the end of the year where a new leadership will be elected.

However, Sascoc president, Moss Mashishi, yesterday laughed off Chuene's claims.

"What he is telling you is absolute nonsense and should not be justified with a comment.

"What I can tell you is that we are investigating Mr Chuene for misconduct following utterances he made in parliament and those that have been attributed to him in the media."

However, Kakata Maponyane, Limpopo Athletics president, supported Chuene's claims about a campaign to destroy him.

"The elections are around the corner, and there are people who are trying everything possible to destabilise the association," said the equally fuming Maponyane.

"They can say whatever they like about Chuene, but they will not dictate to us as to who should lead ASA," he said.