Thursday, August 5, 2021

BNSC Board moves to quell turmoil at BOKA

The Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) board will meet this coming Tuesday to review findings of the report from the commission of inquiry set to look into the turmoil at the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA). The commission, which was chaired by the Director in the Department of Sports and Recreation, Falcon Sedimo is said to have handed its report sometime towards the end of December last year. According to the BNSC Chairperson Solly Reikeletseng, any decision on the way forward for the troubled BOKA will be taken once the BNSC has reviewed the report and consulted with BOKA affiliates.

The report and the subsequent decisions on it are expected to resolve a long standing power play between the immediate former BOKA President Sensei Tshepo Bathai’s executive committee and affiliates in what has been a summer of upheavals at BOKA. Before his unceremonious departure from the BOKA presidency, Sensei Bathai had accused both the BNSC and the committee that had come before his of interference, something which he said led to his resignation. Bathai had pointed an accusing finger at his predecessor at BOKA and his Vice President of sabotage, saying they were behind the petitions and upheavals at the local Karate association.

Asked to comment on the issue of interference by the BNSC, Reikeletseng said the BNSC only intervened following turbulence at BOKA, something which he said is proper as BNSC is the custodian of sport in the country. “When a sporting code affiliates to the BNSC, it makes a choice to be governed by the rules and regulations of the BNSC. It is therefore only befitting that where things are not going accordingly, the BNSC can intervene. When as the BNSC we find executive members resigning en-masse and affiliates calling for the resignation of an elected executive, we have the right to intervene as the custodians of sport in the country. This was just a mere intervention not interference. We set the commission to look into the issue so it can be resolved and we did not in any way interfere in the running of BOKA,” Reikeletseng explained.
On when the elections will be called to close the power vacuum at BOKA, the BNSC Chairperson said all decisions will be taken after the commission’s report has been reviewed.

“Even then, all due processes will have to be followed. We cannot just flaunt the rules and regulations and call for elections. We have to follow due processes so that the crisis can be resolved correctly,” he explained. While the BNSC President could not tell if the elections will be for all positions in the BOKA executive, affiliates are said to be keen for an overhaul of the entire executive. According to one insider, the affiliates do not recogniSe the co-opted members of the executive and are calling for elections in all positions. The insider said no one can work with a committee he finds in place which includes lots of co-opted members, among them a co-opted Vice President Administration.

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