ASA free to send team to Moscow

DIGGING DIRT: Sascoc chief executive  Tubby Reddy
DIGGING DIRT: Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy

EMBATTLED Athletics South Africa (ASA) president James Evans has been accused of double-dipping into the cash-strapped federation's limited reserves.

Claims made by SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) chief executive Tubby Reddy yesterday included that in December last year, Evans instructed ASA's finance manager not to pay bonuses to staff, but three days later he instructed that he himself receive R2753432.

Reddy, insisting he had documents to support his claims, said that on November 8 2012, Evans had ordered the finance manager to pay him more than R18000 "because I am behind on my rent".

Evans was receiving a monthly stipend of R20000 which, Reddy alleged, had not been approved by ASA's general assembly or its board. Reddy added that Evans, apart from his monthly payments, was also submitting expense claims.

"He was double-dipping."

Asked to reply by SMS to the allegations, Evans said: "Outright lies," and he threatened to take action if the claims were published.

The fight over athletics has continued since April, when Sascoc suspended the ASA board and put the federation into administration.

But Evans has received support from the IAAF, the world governing body, which told Sascoc to back off.

After some ASA delegates met on Saturday to give support to Evans, Sascoc suspended the federation.

Until the suspension is lifted, no athletes will be considered for multi-sport events. Zola Majavu, the administrator who officially withdrew from ASA yesterday, said the federation had no money when he took over. He reiterated that, at the time, staff had not been paid for two months, tax and pension deductions from their salaries had not been channelled to Sars or the pension scheme, some athletes had not received prize money, rates and taxes were four months overdue, and VAT payments were outstanding.

Majavu said Evans had initially blocked him from using the ASA account, and he had had to borrow more than R3-million from Sascoc to make basic payments.

Majavu further revealed that Evans, using an IAAF letter, had got the bank to block his access to the account again earlier this month, and said staff would not have been paid for June had he not persuaded Nedbank to process the salaries.

He added that ASA, which received R10.8-million from a broadcasting deal, had about R5-million remaining when he last saw the account.

He said he was facing a criminal charge because of a complaint laid with the police by Evans. "If I was the one being malicious, I would have laid criminal charges against him," said Majavu.

Evans was supposed to participate in a live radio debate with Majavu last night, but he withdrew, telling Sowetan by SMS that he does not "debate with unethical lawyers like Majavu". Evans also accused this reporter of being "so far up Sascoc's arse it doesn't matter what I say".