Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) president, Dr Thato Patlakwe, will need all his surgical skills as he once again tries his hand at healing the rifts within the association.
This follows his re-election to lead the association for another four-year term. Patlakwe and his team were re-elected during the association’s elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held at Oasis Motel this past Friday.
Known for his skills in stitching up boxers’ cuts on the ringside, Patlakwe, now faces the difficult task of bringing together an association nearly torn apart by internal wrangles within his committee during his immediate past tenure in office.
Going into the elective AGM, the BoBA president, who had ascended the boxing hot seat on the promise of patching up the boxing association, found himself contesting against the very same people who were his allies when he was first elected to lead local amateur boxing.
Leading the mutiny against his presidency was his then vice Orapeleng Mosalakgotla, secretary general Irene Ntelamo, competitions coordinator Phetogo Tsheko and PRO Kenny Maragana.
With almost all of his trusted lieutenants now marching against him, save for association treasurer Frank Chigutsi and the then additional committee member Gibson Rauwe, Patlakwe opted for a completely new team and triumphed.
Speaking in an interview following his re-election, a confident Patlakwe promised to take boxing back to where it belongs.
“During our first two years in office, we achieved a lot as a committee. We, however, suffered a regression in the last year as cracks started appearing in our committee and this hampered us,” Patlakwe explained.
He said with his newly elected committee, he was confident boxing will be resuscitated.
“This new committee is very united and we have the same vision of where we want to take boxing. This is a team that I believe can drive boxing forward,” he continued.
To ensure the new team stays focused and united, Patlakwe said there would be a need to have consistent team building programmes “to help it work as a committee”.
Following Botswana boxing’s failure to send a representative to the Rio Olympics last year, Patlakwe said the focus now would be on qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“Our aim is that as we are rebuilding, we have to start small. Our plan is to put in place a very robust programme to ensure we qualify for the next Olympics,” he explained.
To ensure that all stakeholders are on board, Patlakwe said his committee would strive to put the interests of the affiliates ahead of individual interests.
Patlakwe’s new committee has Dirang Thipe as vice president, Lefiri Moremi as secretary general, Chigutshi as treasurer, Rauwe as competitions organiser, Taolo Tlouetsile as the publicity secretary and finally Hlanganani Digwere as the additional member.
The committee’s tenure in office is expected to run until 2021.