Monday, October 25, 2021

“I am not ready to serve under Patlakwe” ÔÇô Thipe speaks out

Suspended Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) Vice President Technical Dirang Thipe says he is not ready to serve in the current BoBA executive committee once again.

Speaking in an interview, Thipe said while he is ‘still a member of the current executive,’ he is just waiting for his hearing to convene before he can officially resign.

“I have no problem with people in the current BoBA executive committee but I do not think I can serve under the current president Thato Patlakwe again,” the BoBA VP technical divulged.

“Given our fractured working relationship, I do not believe we can work together. For the current executive to work one of us has to go. It is either he leaves or I leave and I think it will be me. Kana gatwe ga di tlhakanele lesaka,” Thipe explained.

Asked why he has not yet resigned as he cannot work with the current BoBA president, Thipe, who is still serving an indefinite suspension from the association, said he wants to clear his name first before he quits the executive.

“All I want is to be called for a hearing to clear my name because I believe I have not done any wrong. Once I have had my hearing, I will resign from my post,” he explained.

“I will not be lost to boxing and I will continue to serve this sport even if I am not in the committee. I am a qualified coach and once I resign, I will head back to my club and resume my coaching duties there,” the VP technical said.

On what could have made him resolute that he cannot serve under Patlakwe, Thipe said while they have their differences on development, the final straw in their relationship came when the Patlakwe belittled him in the BoBA executive Whatsapp group before ousting him from the executive.

“We have had our differences, more especially on issues of development of boxing. When we were voted to lead BoBA, we had plans to take boxing forward and I was supposed to be the technical person in the executive. However, since assuming working with Patlakwe, I realised he does not value the input of his own technical advisors,” Thipe said.

“When I became the VP technical, I wanted to resuscitate BoBA’s development programmes, but the current committee seems not interested in that. We have had out of school programmes and school holiday camps which are now defunct. Our Best of the Best Tournament has also gone defunct,” he explained.

Another issue, according to Thipe, came when the BoBA executive wanted to oust the then team coach Lechedzani Master Luza from his role.

“I stood up for the coach because as a technical person in the committee, I believed he had the skills needed for the job. In the end, the coach was not ousted but that dented the relationships between me as the team manager and the executive committee,” he explained.

Thipe said every time he tried to talk to the president about all these problems, including updates on team preparations ahead of the commonwealth games, all he got was a cold shoulder and silence.

“Following this, during one of the WhatsApp group discussions, the BoBA Public Relations Officer (PRO) provided some updates on his work and the president then responded and congratulated him for a job well done. I then expressed my shock that the president actually responded while he has never responded or acknowledged my updates,” he narrated.

“What followed was a verbal abuse from the BoBA president aimed towards me. He told me that ‘ke lenyatso gape ke a tella.’ I thereafter wrote a letter demanding that he apologise to me, as I believed his reaction was uncalled for,” Thipe said.

The letter, according to Thipe, proved to be the literal needle that broke the camel’s back and the relationship between him and the president  never recovered ever since.

“This episode opened my eyes to what Patlakwe’s former vice president technical had always complained about. When we were campaigning, he told me that the president never listened to advice from technical people but I dismissed him. In hindsight, had I known what I know right now before the BoBA elections, I would have never campaigned with him and would definitely not have voted for him,” he opined.

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