Monday, September 27, 2021

BAFS fires Thobega

Botswana Amateur Fencing Society (BAFS) Technical Director (TD) Karabo Thobega has been sacked for his woeful conduct at the organisation.

It has emerged that following a disciplinary hearing on the 25th August 2021, a decision was taken last week to expel Thobega after being haunted by bribery allegations at the society.

In a letter dated 31st August 2021, it has been revealed that after full consideration of representations and evidence, a decision of guilt and allegations made against Thobega stand. The allegation that had been labeled against Thobega included solicitation of a bribe and the use of a company that had been deregistered by CIPA.

“Receipt No.0115 that you presented as evidence that you did not receive the bribe cannot be taken into consideration due to date on the receipt which has been tempered with. At the time that Artistic Printz provided you with the invoice and quotation for BAFS, the company had been taken off the registry by CIPA and was therefore operating illegally,’’ reads part of the BAFS letter.

While expected to bring forth a witness for the BAFS hearing, it emerged that Thobega failed to present one while BAFS witness implicated Thobega in the bribery scandal. The letter further read “according to BAFS witness, you did not deny the allegations of solicitation of bribe when it was put by Sidney Molefe of Tlosi Investments at the meeting held with BAFS, Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) and yourself. Further to that, you made no attempt to clear your name to either the BAFS committee or to the BNSC from the time of that meeting until the disciplinary hearing”.

In closing, the letter read that given the above, “you are informed that a decision on outcome of this verdict is that you are with immediate effect expelled from your role as TD of BAFS.” However, BAFS was lenient as Thobega was not banned from the sport and expected to continue contributing towards the sport.

Speaking to BAFS president, Mandla Masuku said that they take issues of governance seriously and it should be a message to others that no one is above the sport. “No one is bigger than the sport even the president of the federation. If any member does anything to put the sport of fencing into disrepute, they should expect the similar fate or worse,” said Masuku.

Meanwhile, BAFS Ewetse Khama has since stepped down as the public relations officer (PRO). However, Khama’s resignation reportedly is due to personal reasons. In his resignation letter Khama indicated: “I am not lost to the sport and will be happy to assist from time to time in a relevant capacity.”

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