Karate South Africa have avoided having their membership to UFAK terminated ©KSA

Karate South Africa (KSA) has had the threat of its membership from the African Karate Federation (UFAK) being terminated reversed after resolving disputes with the organisation.

The national governing body had been told to implement a restructuring of the organisation.

When they failed to do so, UFAK issued a suspension and began moves  to end its membership of the continental body.

Last August. the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) de-registered KSA’s membership.

They the organisation’s "inability to adhere to the unconditional reinstatement of suspended officials and the merged inclusion of full contact karate" as the reason.

KSA argued, however, that no final agreement was reached and the decision to de-register its membership was taken without a formal notice outlining the allegations and without an official hearing.

SASCOC reinstated the KSA in December following a resolution of the dispute but UFAK continued plans to throw them out. 

A three-man delegation, led by KSA president Sonny Pillay, travelled to UFAK headquarters last month to present their case for the proceedings to be ended.

The Congress in Algiers, attended by senior members of the World Karate Federation (WKF), has now resulted in the dispute being resolved.

In a letter, UFAK President Mesbahi Mohamed Tahar confirmed the termination of their membership would be ceased but urged KSA to continue to work on solving the challenges facing the sport.

UFAK President Mesbahi Mohamed Tahar informed KSA that their suspension had been lifted
UFAK President Mesbahi Mohamed Tahar informed KSA that their suspension had been lifted ©KSA

“Please ensure that KSA and its affiliates will keep on working towards a solution to the challenges that face karate in South Africa, and wider on the continent,” he wrote.

“We need to be a unified community to advance the interests of our athletes.

“In particular, without being restricted thereto, kindly ensure all members from whatever organisation who want to join KSA shall be treated, without any discrimination, to join KSA.

“Provided, of course, that only persons or organisations that support WKF karate and subscribe to its statutes shall be allowed within the KSA structures.”

It is claimed that KSA have agreed to UFAK’s request to hold national elections later this year to enable karate clubs to become part of the Federation.

Following the lifting of the suspension, Pillay pledged to rebuild confidence.

“May I express my absolute delight and appreciation upon receipt of the wonderful news with regards to the upliftment of the suspension previously imposed on KSA,” he wrote in a letter to Tahar.

“I do sincerely believe that KSA can now focus on rebuilding the confidence of its membership in our current administration.

“Once again as stated in the recent congress at the UFAK Hq in Algiers I wish to reiterate that KSA will religiously follow and respect the WKF statues as always”