Almost a year after returning from national team duties in Singapore, the Botswana National Netball team players and technical team are yet to receive their appearance fees.
This comes after the local netball governing body, the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) failed to process their appearance fee claims on time. According to procedure, BONA should have furnished the Botswana National Sporting Council (BNSC) with names of players and officials who represented the country at the event during their stay in the team or immediately after their return, something which the local netball governing body failed to do. According to reliable sources, while the team arrived from Singapore last year in July, the local netball governing body only sent the appearance fee claims at the end of March this year after pressure from players and the technical team. The source, who talked on condition of anonymity, said the delay in payment was largely due to the incompetence of the current BONA executive committee.
Contacted for comment, BONA President Tebogo Lebotse referred all questions regarding the appearance fees to the BNSC who she said are responsible for paying out. The BONA President declined to confirm whether the team had been paid or not, saying it is for the BNSC to confirm such. “Rona sa rona ke go isa maina fela ko go bone (our part is only to submit names to them) and they are the ones who pay,” Lebotse answered.
Asked what could have caused the delay, the BONA President pleaded ignorance, saying she cannot answer for the BNSC. She says as far as she is concerned, BONA has done what they could and all was now with the BNSC. On whether there was nothing the association could do to put pressure on BNSC to speed up paying the team, the BONA president said there was nothing as “there are no guidelines stipulating time frames within which players should be paid their appearance fees”.
For their part, BNSC confirmed that the players and the technical team have not been paid as of now. According to BNSC’s Acting Executive Secretary, Golesedi Chankuluba, the BNSC is in the process of paying the players, something which she says is expected to be done very soon. Asked what could have caused the delay, the BNSC Acting Executive Secretary said the problem is due to the delay in submission of names to the BNSC by concerned sporting codes, something which she says is not only confined to netball.
“Concerning netball, they only submitted at the end of March, which is the end of the government’s financial year. This delay, coupled with the process required to source the money from the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR), which is responsible for paying out the money has led to the current situation,” Chankuluba clarified.
On what could have led to the netball team that went to the All Africa Games in Mozambique, almost two months after the return of the national team from Singapore, to be paid first, Chankuluba said this was due to the fact that the BNSC was directly responsible.
“The All Africa Games were coordinated by the BNSC and, as such, we had all the names of players taking part submitted before they even left for the games, which made it easier for us to process their fees,” Chankuluba said. According to the BNSC Acting Executive Secretary, the problem of late payment of athletes due to the delay by codes is common despite the BNSC’s plea to members to submit on time.
She says at the moment, the sports council is sitting on a backlog of unpaid appearance fees, which they are hoping to clear very soon.