The sheriff arrived shortly after 10am at the Athletics House in a one-ton truck with men clad in blue overalls and loading trolleys.
Just across the road, potential customers lay in wait, ready to bid for the furniture and office equipment that was about to be auctioned off. But it was not to be as an official at the scene announced: “The auction has been cancelled.”
The dramatic scenes were the result of unfolding developments in ASA’s longstanding legal battle with athlete Jan Blignaut, who successfully sued the cash-strapped athletics governing body for R10.4 million last year.
“It [the auction] ended up being called off because we had intense negotiations with the sheriff and Blignaut’s lawyers,” said ASA president Aleck Skhosana.
Skhosana had dispatched board members James Moloi and Jakes Jacobs to the normally quiet office to put out the flames.
Also present were office manager Pieter de Jager and ASA chief financial officer Terrence Magogodela.