Response of the TOM Board to Recent Defamatory Allegations by Mr James Evans
21 October 2020
In letters dated 15 October and 20 October 2020 and various follow up emails, Mr James Evans yet again made several unfounded allegations against the Two Oceans Marathon (TOM) NPC board. Over the past year Mr Evans has published numerous grievances about the management of the Two Oceans Marathon which have proven to be false allegations and twisted facts.
It has become clear Mr Evans’ main aim is to discredit our organisation by creating confusion and suspicion through disinformation. In his most recent correspondence, he is exploiting the far-reaching disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in another effort to damage the credibility of the Two Oceans Marathon management.
Mr James Evans attempts to paint a picture of an organisation in “crisis” while ignoring the fact that there is a multitude of logistical and practical reasons for the recent postponement of our Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The Board is by law entitled to postpone its AGM if, as in this case, its members are of the opinion that it will not be possible to properly conduct the business of that meeting if it were to be held remotely. The TOM does not have a venue, and as soon as one has been identified, at which the company’s members may be properly accommodated while at the same time observing the regulations promulgated in terms of the Disaster Management Act, a new date of the AGM will be announced that complies with the notification requirements of the company’s Memorandum of Incorporation (“MOI”).
By making an effort to arrange an in-person gathering instead of a virtual one (as planned while Level 2 restrictions were still in place), the TOM board is ensuring optimal transparency and efficient decision-making.
All the other grievances in Mr Evans’ letter are also distortions and exaggerations of issues for which there are logical explanations. By misrepresenting our finances, procedures and motives, he is hoping to create the illusion of a corrupt and dysfunctional organisation. It is ludicrous to suggest that the TOM board would alter or withhold the findings of an external investigative report by independent experts that clears up the rumours and allegations raised previously by Mr Evans. This external investigatve report, together with all relevant documentation, will soon be disseminated to our partners and stakeholders and members, as well as the general public by Friday, 23 October 2020.
Similarly, the allegations that “it is likely a new board will find the cupboard bare and the bank accounts stripped” are spurious as the TOM has healthy reserves as indicated in the audited Annual Financial Statement, available on the TOM website. We are confident all stakeholders will be satisfied that our affairs are in order and there is no “crisis” to be concerned about.
We have always been open to suggestions and constructive criticism, but we will no longer tolerate a vindictive smear campaign aimed at sowing discord in the running community and undermining our reputation. Board members volunteer their time pro bono and take their role very seriously. We pride ourselves on all the checks and balances that guide our service to the community. Our management remains fully committed to good governance, transparency and accountability.
We reserve the right to take action against people who make defamatory statements or false allegations against our organisation’s management.
The TOM Board wishes to encourage Mr Evans or anyone who may require clarity, to set up a meeting with us to discuss any issues or uncertainty on matters pertaining to the TOM NPC.
THE TOM NPC BOARD