Athletics to Get New Leadership

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Despite the threat from the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) Africa Representative Leonard Chuene that Namibia could be banned from international competition unless the country recognizes the current Athletics Namibia leadership, the AN Special Congress which has been organized by the Namibia Sports Commission will go ahead as planned. The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Chief Administrator, Rusten Mogane, yesterday informed New Era that the congress to elect an AN leadership will take place this weekend at Tsumeb. Mogane said five of the six regions which are members of AN have confirmed their attendance and the new leadership should be made known at the end of the congress. The chief administrator also noted that a final meeting will be held this morning to sort out the final logistical issues. He said that the NSC is fully aware of the verbal threat from Chuene but they are still awaiting a letter from the IAAF to put an official response. The congress is likely to bring an end to the squabbles which have been ongoing in the sports code for the past three years but there could also be serious implications if the IAAF resolves to ban Namibia. Meanwhile, Nampa reports that neither the government nor the NSC is in charge of Athletics Namibia (AN), according to what Khomas Athletics Region Chairman Quinton-Steele Botes has said. Botes was reacting to a statement by the Deputy Director of School Sports, Shivute Katamba, in The Namibian of Tuesday that the NSC is still in charge of AN. Said Botes: “In fact, no one is running the affairs of Athletics Namibia. It has come to an absolute standstill since the vote of no-confidence was passed in former AN president Alpha Kangueehi and his executive committee at a Special Congress held on 26 August in Otjiwarongo.” He added that the NSC was only asked by the AN affiliates to organize the congress to elect new leaders. Botes explained that it was the members of AN who passed the vote of no-confidence in Kangueehi and that neither the government nor the NSC had anything to do with the decision. On the threat by IAAF Africa Representative Chuene that Namibia will be suspended if Kangueehi is not reinstated, Botes said nothing like that is on paper, which makes it difficult for him to comment. Chuene, who is also president of Athletics South Africa, last week said Namibia could face suspension for at least four years if the government, through the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), fails to reinstate Kangueehi with immediate effect. But Botes argued that the mere fact that Chuene and/or the IAAF wants government, through the NSC to reinstate Kangueehi, amounts to interference, emphasizing that it was the AN members, and not government, that ousted Kangueehi and company. “Obviously the members would not reinstate him because they do not want him there any longer, ” Botes said. The congress, scheduled for this Saturday, has been moved from Otjiwarongo to Tsumeb for logistical reasons. – Additional reporting Nampa