Ramsamy elected as new head of African Swimming

Monday, 17 September 2012
By Duncan Mackay

Sam Ramsamy_gesturing_at_FINA_eventSeptember 17 - South Africa's Sam Ramsamy (pictured) has been elected as the new President of the Confederation of African Swimming (CANA), succeeding Algeria's Mustapha Larfaoui, who had stepped down after holding the position since the creation of the organisation in 1972. 

Ramsamy, 74, was already CANA vice-president and beat Nigeria's Chief Thomas Olatokunbo by 14 votes to six at the Congress held during the African Championships in Nairobi.

Ramsamy is also a current vice-president of world governing body FINA and is a former President of Swimming South Africa. 

Ramsamy has been one of the most important figures in the Olympic Movement in recent times. 

He was a high-profile anti-apartheid campaigner in London and was chairman of the South Africa Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SANROC) during the apartheid years from 1976 to 1990, campaigning against discrimination in sport and against the participation of South Africa's white-only teams in international sporting events.

Ramsamy returned to South Africa upon the lifting of ban on the African National Congress (ANC) and became the President of South Africa's official National Olympic Committee from 1991, a post he held until 2005. 

He led the first non-racial South African team to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Ramsamy was elected a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1995 and sat on the IOC Coordination Commission for London 2012. 

Mustapha Larfaoui_speaking_at_FINA_eventAlgeria's Mustapha Larfaoui led CANA since its creation in 1972 until he stepped down to be replaced by South Africa's Sam Ramsamy

Under Larfaoui, who was also the former head of FINA, CANA had grown from eight countries to nearly 50. 

But only 20 countries voted at the Congress, which was attended by Julio Maglione, the President of FINA, and its executive director Cornel Marculescu.

Following a proposal from Ramsamy, Larfaoui was given the title of honorary President. 

Tunisia's Habib Rouatbi, Senegal's Mohammed Diop, Uganda's Donald Rukare and Angola's Lino Candido Laurenco were elected as vice-presidents.

Kenya's Ben Ekumbo was elected as the secretary and treasurer. 

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