Barry Hendricks and Aleck Skhosana have appeared as the two front-runners to take over the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc)‚ based on the 10 nominations for November 23 by-elections.
The Sascoc council will vote for two executive posts at the AGM‚ one for first vice-president and the other a regular board seat.
They will replace Hajera Kajee and Les Williams who had to step down at the end of 2018 after turning 70 in the year‚ the retirement age at Sascoc.
But the winner of the first vice-president ballot will also take over as president when Gideon Sam‚ who turned 70 during the African Games earlier this year‚ resigns.
Hendricks‚ currently the second vice-president‚ received three of the six nominations for first vice-president‚ from gymnastics‚ equestrian and the Gauteng Sport Confederation.
Athletics SA (ASA) president Skhosana received two‚ from his own federation as well as the KwaZulu-Natal Sport Confederation.
Free State rugby boss Jerry Segwaba was nominated by cue sports.
Mashilo Matsetela (softball)‚ Lwandile Simelane (hockey)‚ Cecilia Molokwane (netball) and Willem Edeling (equestrian) are standing for the board position.
The Sascoc board is unlikely to see out its full term‚ which ordinarily would run for another year until the elective council after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Hendricks has already indicated the possibility of elections for a new executive early in the new year.
Cash-strapped Sascoc is under pressure to change from Sport minister Nathi Mthethwa to many of the federations unhappy with how the body is operating — or not operating.
Disgruntled federations have forced Sascoc to call a Special General Meeting for November 22 to look at issues around the Tokyo Olympics‚ including the selection criteria.
Several codes have yet to sign qualifying agreements with Sascoc.
One major issue has been Sascoc’s aversion to accepting what is regarded as easier African qualification pathways and demanding the more difficult international avenues.
While sports like athletics and swimming set pre-determined times or distances to be achieved‚ many codes offer both continental and global options.
Chasing international qualification can be exorbitantly expensive for many aspirants who don’t receive funding.
It’s a debate that is far from exhausted.