The Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) Tournament Organizing Committee has come under fire for failing to host a tournament that was slated for this past weekend.
The committee was accused of sabotage by New Horizon Table Tennis Club in a strong worded correspondence sent to the media, BTTA and its affiliates by Club Secretary, Marang Ramahobo.
He said sabotage was the reason for the indefinite postponement of the tournament, which was dubbed the 2015 Valentine’s Day Table Tennis Extravaganza.
“It is with great sadness that I announce to you that the much awaited 2015 Valentine’s Day Table Tennis Extravaganza which was to be held at the Molapo Piazza is to be postponed indefinitely. This has come as a result of sheer negligence or deliberate sabotage on the part of some individuals within the organizing committee, which is responsible for equipment and other things relating to competitions,” the correspondence read.
Asked to clarify, Ramahobo said the BTTA Tournament Organizing Committee failed to timely provide the equipment needed to stage the event under unfounded grounds. He said despite promising that equipment will be availed to his club, the committee refused to surrender keys to the BTTA storeroom or deliver the required equipment.
“When we met with the organizing committee chairperson Kudzanani Motswagole on Thursday, he refused to give us the keys for us to collect the equipment. He referred us to a third party, who he said will be available to give us equipment on Saturday. When we tried to reach the contact person, he did not respond to our messages or take our calls until we used a different number. That was when he told us he was in Mahalapye and referred us back to Motswagole. We tried to contact him (Motswagole) and he did not take ours calls too. It was then that we decided to postpone the tournament indefinitely,” he said.
Ramahobo rubbished rumors doing the rounds that they cancelled the tournament because they had no funds to host it.
“Yes we did not have sponsors on board but we were willing to host and we had pulled all the stops. From the onset, we told everyone that this was a self sponsored tournament. The club and its general membership pulled their weight and did everything possible to make sure that we host. We even secured the tournament venue,” he said.
He added that this was not the first time that New Horizon Table Tennis Club has been sabotaged by the organizing committee.
“The very same committee tried to sabotage our plans to host the tournament in the past,” he said.
Reached for comment, BTTA Secretary General Bolokang Pema said they were still trying to resolve the issue internally.
“We are awaiting a report from the organizing committee, after which we will meet as the executive committee before calling the two parties to the table,” he said.
However, Pema condemned New Horizon Club for flouting procedure, saying they should have made their grievances known to the BTTA Executive Committee before going public.