BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS have indefinitely postponed their scheduled annual general meeting (AGM) and elections after their request to hold both was turned down by the responsible authorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AGM and elections to fill the positions of chairman, secretary-general and committee member were slated for this Sunday and February 7 respectively and the club’s board has directed that incumbent chairman Kenneth Mhlophe will be at the helm until the elections are held.
However, that decision by the board as expressed by chairman Luke Mnkandla and club president Ndumiso Gumede is likely to irk other club members.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic rules and regulations, the negative responses received from the police and the relevant sporting authorities and broad consultation on the matter, the force majeure circumstances on which the club finds itself, necessitates that we postpone both the AGM and elections until such a time that the relevant authorities sanction the activities….Out of necessity and practical considerations, the current executive committee will continue until elections are held,” Mnkandla and Gumede said in a joint statement.
However, perusal of the club’s constitution shows that its rule book is silent on the way forward if elections are negatively affected by unforeseen circumstances with Article 7,6 stating that if a position falls vacant before the expiry of a term of office: “…the executive committee in consultation with the board of directors shall have the power to co-opt any suitable member including a member of the board of directors to act in the position until the next elections are held.”
Article 10 which deals with executive committee members elections states explicitly on 10.3: “When so elected executive committee members shall hold office for a period of three years after which they will automatically lose their positions…”
That section further clarifies that the executive committee members have the right to seek re-election for another term after which they will be ineligible after 10 years.
Mhlophe, his secretary-general Israel Moyo and committee member Wisdom Mabhena were elected into office on February 4 2018.
Mabhena is no longer eligible for this elections after serving two terms and his position is being contested for by Bheka Sibanda and Mgcini Mafu.
Mhlophe, who is seeking re-election is being challenged by Johnfat Sibanda while Moyo is battling it out with Morgen Dube.
The Highlanders board of directors plays an oversight role on the functions of the executive committee.
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