Information reaching Sun Sports this week is that Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) President Joshua Gaotlhobogwe is back in the BISA elections race. This comes after he was left in limbo last week when the BISA Electoral Board vetted him out. The BISA electoral Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for November 10th 2017 in Palapye. However the lead up to the BISA AGM has been embroiled in controversy.
The sports development association has also seen its leadership become even more divided than ever. Last week, the BISA Electoral board is reported to have released a list of the 2017 BISA elections nominees. However in a shocking turn out of events incumbent president Gaotlhobogwe was vetted out. Sun Sports is in possession of the leaked documents dated 26th October, showing that incumbent president together with the aspiring Secretary General Christopher Chikwakwa were tossed aside because they have served two terms consecutively in the executive.
“This contravenes section 12.2.3 of the BISA constitution if another term is sought,” reads a statement from the BISA Electoral Committee. After learning the board’s decision, Gaotlhobogwe is alleged to have lodged an appeal and even went as far as seeking legal advice on the matter. Nevertheless, the board still maintained its stand and turned him down. However early this week, another letter was received by BISA Secretary General Gomolemo Rankosha stating that after careful consideration, the board decided to go back on its decision and allow Gaotlhobogwe to run. Reached for comment this week, Gaotlhobogwe expressed shock over the board’s decision.
Gaotlhobogwe confirmed that indeed he received news that he was not eligible to seek another term. “Something is not right here, I am told I have been reinstated but under what grounds I cannot explain,” Gaotlhobogwe said in an interview. His biggest concern is that his plea was thrown out of the window when he tried to appeal the decision. According to him he had supporting evidence of two legal experts, yet the board had remained unshaken at the time. “All of a sudden I have been vetted in again, I had approached the Ministry of Education informing them about the matter because I was prepared to drag this to the court of law. It appears there is a conspiracy, something does not add up, there is more to this matter,” he argued.
He accused the Board of failing to use the services of their legal advisors who are said to be at their disposal and rushed to misinterpreting the constitution. Nevertheless, Gaotlhobogwe said he couldn’t confirm if his actions led to the board reversing its decision or not. However he is unhappy with how things unfolded, arguing that this is likely to mess up his campaign.On the other hand, aspiring BISA Secretary General Chikwakwa remained calm and said that he believed the board made a genuine mistake and after seeking legal advice they decided to reverse their decision.
“I do not think there was any foul play or any intentions of sabotage, we demanded a proper apology and I hope they will consider it,” Chikwakwa said. Reached for comment, BISA Electoral Board chairperson Hebert Kabelo denied ever releasing the list saying the allegations are untrue and for all he knows, there have never been any issues or queries. “I cannot comment on the issue because it was an in house issue.”He said on behalf of the board, they believe that they have done everything right and nobody has been left out. “We want absolute fairness during the elections and everyone is expected to either win or lose during voting on the day.”
Local boxers ready for regional tourney
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.
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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