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Money squabbles rock broke BONA



Some Botswana Netball Association (BONA) affiliates choked on their words this past weekend at the realization that the BONA bank account might be running completely dry.

When former Botswana Netball Association (BONA) President Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego stepped down in 2017, she announced that she leaves BONA with a bank account worth P500 000. The information is retrieved from the captured 2017 BONA AGM minutes.

Nevertheless, at the association Annual General Meeting held in Gaborone over the weekend, BONA Secretary General Kebatenne Hulela announced that when they assumed office, taking over from Sebego, BONA did not have the P500 000, but figures were way below the said amount.

Hulela’s announcement was met with an uproar from the floor, affiliates up in arms and demanding that Hulela explain further. Others even questioned if Sebego sold them a fairy tale and if so, why the committee has been silent on the matter. In the heated moment of clear disappointment and displeasure that had evoked many emotions in the room, Hulela tried to calm the situation by explaining that the funds had been gobbled by debts coming from hosting the Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC).

The NWYC was held in Botswana in July 2017, while the BONA elective AGM was held in October 2017. “It is possible that the previous committee might have checked the bank balance two days before coming for the AGM and within those two days, many invoices might have come through demanding payment,” she said.

It seemed however that her explanation did not hit home for some as more murmuring continued to fill the room until one member of Flying Hawks club raised a concern that BONA sold them a dummy. “You gave us a wrong picture of what was on the ground, why is it that the current leadership never bothered to inform us at the realization that things were not as they had expected,” she questioned.

Again, it was questioned whether it was really sincere for Sebego to have announced that the BONA bank account was healthy while she knew that they have overwhelming debts that needed to be paid. She argued that it had been only three months after the world cup event was held and if indeed there were steep debts to be paid, the former president should have been aware.

It does not help that BONA has since 2017 not been able to fully discuss the association’s financial affairs, even the weekend meeting saw the compiled financial report deemed incomplete and deferred to a date to be communicated.

Meanwhile, despite Hulela not mentioning figures at the AGM, one member of the current executive committee reliably informed Sun Sport that they found only P350 000 in the account. However, they still had to pay three more big companies with AT&T Monnakgotla Travel and Tours Office alleged to have been owed over P53 000. In addition, the AGM costs had not been deducted from that said P500 000 and the total expenses were over P100 000.

“The AGM expenses were over P100 000 because of accommodation costs and all, remember the AGM was held at the Majestic Hotel in Palapye, by the end of the week, that P350 000 was all gone after paying just a few service providers,” said the source that spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney



CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again



Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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