Tuesday, June 6, 2023

BAA comes apart at the seams

‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold….’ so goes a line from by Irish poet W. B. Yeats’ poem, ‘The Second Coming.’
For the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), things cannot be truer. In the aftermath of the highly explosive Annual General Meeting (AGM) held recently, the association’s National Executive Committee (NEC) is now crumbling and members are said to be scrambling for the exit doors.

Following the resignation of NEC member Kenneth Kikwe, the association has now lost its Vice Secretary General, Lebogang Mofokeng-Staddon.

The Vice Secretary, who was seen as the most neutral in the internal fighting plaguing the BAA threw in the towel this past Friday.

While the BAA is trying to hide the crisis imploding behind the scenes, unconfirmed sources say the Vice Secretary General is likely to be followed by other members through the BAA exit doors.

The news of Staddon’s resignation was however denied by the BAA Public Relations Officer, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba who dismissed them as half truths meant to destabilise the association.

“At the moment, the only member to have resigned from the NEC is Kikwe, who resigned at the recent AGM. Other than that, there is no member who has resigned from the committee,” the BAA PRO said.

The BAA PRO said any talks of resignations were meant to sow seeds of discord, more so as the association is busy trying to rebuild.

Pressed further for details, Ramatshaba denied that the association has received any letter of resignation. Asked to comment on the allegations of her resignation, Mofokeng-Staddon confirmed she had left the BAA NEC.

She said following what transpired at the BAA AGM, she felt it will be uncomfortable for her to continue serving in the BAA NEC.

“As a leader, I felt that we should have never aired our internal problems in front of the affiliates and the public. I believe that we could have consulted within ourselves as the NEC and presented a united front other than publicly show the divisions within us,” Mofokeng-Staddon explained.

Mofokeng-Staddon said the divisions within the NEC were making it hard for her to do carry out her duties, hence her resignation.

According to sources close to the BAA NEC, the resignation of the Vice Secretary General did not come as a surprise.

The source said the fact that Mofokeng-Staddon left the highly fractious AGM whilst it was still ongoing was a sign that she had had enough, though it was claimed at the time that she was not feeling well.

Another source said the resignation, which is likely to be followed by one or two others resignations, is likely to strike a fatal blow to the BAA NEC and force the association to vote in an ‘interim committee’ to take the association to its next elective AGM next year.


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