ASA still waiting for a verdict

2012-09-30 10:00
Daniel Mothowagae
Suspended CEO was up before a tribunal last week.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) has allayed fears that it could be running short of cash.

ASA president James Evans conceded that the suspension of its chief executive Frik Vermaak over mismanagement of funds has “impacted slightly” on the athletics governing body’s cash flow.

Without elaborating on the actual shortfalls, Evans said: “It has impacted on a lot of things, especially when we are in a situation where we are still owed and owe some of our suppliers.”

ASA is still awaiting the verdict, a week since Vermaak (54) appeared before an independent tribunal to answer to allegations of funds mismanagement and non-disclosure of the true nature of his former company, Allegro.

The firm, which Vermaak was the director of, is alleged to have blown investors’ money, according to a report by Fin24 in April.

Evans said Vermaak took office in January, when ASA’s major source of funding came through sponsorship from Yellow Pages and SABC broadcasting rights fees.

The deals ASA had with the two as its main partners expired early in the year.

Vermaak was in the process of talks with the SABC over a new contract, but they were interrupted by his suspension last month.

Evans said the hearing for evidence in Vermaak’s case was complete.

The hearing took place over two days at ASA’s head office in Houghton, northern Joburg.

An attorney by profession, Evans said it was “a bit frustrating” as ASA had expected the verdict before Friday.

“The chairperson (of the disciplinary committee) indicated he would need a week or so to give us his finding but no word had come through as yet. The longer it takes, the more of a problem it is because athletics must move on,” he said.

Whether Vermaak is cleared of wrongdoing or found guilty, Evans said “it is a question of trust”, moving on from a scandal that had “blighted his tenure” since he was installed as president in June.

Yesterday Vermaak said he couldn’t comment yet.