Monday, January 17, 2022

BOKA committee members rescind resignations

Two members of the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) Executive Committee are said to have rescinded their resignations from the committee. Hardly two weeks into their resignations, it is reported that the duo of BOKA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Andrew Dobolo and the association’s Treasurer Bontle Charles have made a u-turn and are now back in the committee.

The two are said to have written letters to the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) and BOKA this past Thursday to inform them of their change of heart.

The sudden change of heart by the two means the BOKA Executive can now continue in office and can now carry on their mandate as they form a quorum. Under the BOKA constitution, the executive can now move in to co-opt new executive committee members. The sudden change of heart by the two comes at a time when the BNSC had already appointed a committee to look into the affairs of BOKA. The sudden change of heart is expected to leave some of the affiliates baffled as the two are said to have been at the centre of the recent resignation saga. At the time, both Dobolo and Charles were part of the four members of the committee who are said to have felt sidelined by the trio of BOKA executive members in the form of President Tshepo Bathai, Vice President Technical Chris Ponatshego and the BOKA Secretary General Phineas Motseolapile.

While Dobolo was crying over his suspension from the committee by the BOKA Executive, Charles was said to have been left fuming after her job as Botswana Team Manager was usurped by Ponatshego. It is also alleged that the current impasse is also the work of one of the BNSC Board Members who is said to be keen to use BOKA in pursuit of power. According to insiders, the said member of the BNSC board has a hand in the divisions among the BOKA executive as he is aligned to the executive committee’s top brass. Reached for comment, Charles could not confirm her return to the committee, saying they are still working to find a solution to their differences. “At the moment, I cannot say much about the issue but I can only confirm that talks are ongoing. We have to understand that where there are people, there will always be differences and looking at the issue from that perspective, I believe we may have reacted too quickly by resigning,” the BOKA Treasurer explained.

Dobolo on the other hand said after weighing all the options, he felt the committee deserved a chance hence his sudden change of heart. The BOKA PRO said his decision came after having had a very fruitful chat with the remaining members of the committee to reconcile their differences for the betterment of Karate. The return of the two will come as a relief to the BOKA President Tshepo Bathai who has steadfastly called for reconciliation with the disillusioned members of his committee.

Meanwhile, sources close to the BOKA executive have said they are not surprised at the sudden turn of events. In what is proving to be a fight for the life and soul of Karate, the source said the returning of the duo is a direct result of promises made to them to pay for their return to the committee. According to the source, for their return to the committee, the resigned members of the committee were promised some form of financial return as well as trips outside the country, allegations which have since been disputed by both Dobolo and Charles.

Commenting on the issue, BNSC Chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng said the BNSC had set up a committee to look into the mess at BOKA. The committee, which is expected to start its fact finding mission tomorrow is expected to dig deep to find the root cause of the current problems and hand in a report in a few weeks time.

Commenting on the issue of members of his BNSC board being involved in the current BOKA saga, Reikeletseng said it is sad that members of the BNSC are at times involved in problems of affiliates. “As the BNSC, we condemn any interference by our members and officials on affiliates’ problems. We hope that in future, we will not have these kinds of problems,” the BNSC Chairperson said.

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