Sunday, April 18, 2021

BATHAI WALKS A TIGHTROPE AGAIN

The saying that lightning never strikes twice may be of no truth for the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) president Tshepo Bathai.

Ousted from the BOKA presidency five years ago in a coup engineered by his own executive committee, the BOKA president faces another coup, this time, also engineered by his own committee.

And the similarities do not end there! As it is now as it was then, the executive committee is citing lack of confidence in his leadership as a cause for Bathai’s eminent ouster.

The only difference, perhaps, will be on the duration of Bathai’s stay in office. Back in 2015, Bathai had barely had six (months) in office when he was ousted. This time around, he has lasted two years, but still, he may not see out his term of office.

Following months of discontent both from within and from outside the BOKA head office, sources say Bathai’s days are numbered, with his executive rumoured to have been holding meetings to ouster him.

This was also confirmed by one of BOKA executive members Union Kgafela, who said meetings to topple Bathai have been ongoing behind closed doors.

Speaking in an interview, Kgafela said that the current committee has lost confidence in the BOKA president’s leadership, hence the decision to ouster him.

According to Kgafela, Bathai will be given an ultimatum to jump ship in his own accord and if he fails to do such, the committee will, as in 2015, resign en masse to force him being forced out of office.

Kgafela noted that many of them are not happy with the BOKA president’s tendency to take unilateral decisions on matters relating to BOKA, and in most instances, dragging them and the reputation of BOKA in the mud in the process.

He went on to cite the recent dismissal of coaches Moses Jones, Peter Molefe and George Tshikare as an example.

He said while the BOKA executive had taken a decision to terminate contract of all coaches who were leading Botswana during the UFAK tournament, the BOKA president opted to deviate.

Instead, the BOKA president allegedly, acting on his own, terminated the contracts of Tshikare, Jones and Molefe and spared Christopher Ponatshego and Kaone Kgorotlhe.

Kgafela said, the unfortunate part was that Bathai went a step further before them as the executive as they intended to look for new coaches at a lower income but the president went against their plan.

“We are awaiting the team to come back from All Africa Games in Morocco then we can address the issue of terminating other coaches and leaving out the others, we are not happy with this as Bathai went against our agreement,” said Kgafela.

As if contract termination was not enough, Tshikare was hit with a suspension letter from BOKA on the 21st of August. His suspension comes through after being alleged of discussing BOKA internal matters with the media. The letter goes on to say what Tshikare did was gross misconduct which is against BOKA code of conduct which his federation ‘Botswana Kofukan Federation (BKF)’ endorsed to at the AGM of 5th May 2018.

Sunday Standard could not contact Tshikare as the letter also notes that with investigations ongoing, he may not discuss this matter with no one else but the BOKA house.

Attempts to get a comment from Bathai have since proved futile as he did not take calls, while BOKA Public Relations Officer, Isaiah Ramontshonyana said he was not privy to the matter.

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