Botswana Amateur Fencing Society (BAFS) Technical Director (TD) Master Karabo Thobega is a man facing the unenviable and most severe punishment from his sport, a ‘black card.’
While the card is used to expel fencers who commit serious infractions during a match bout, Thobega’s black card allegedly emanates from his antics off the piste, as the fencing fighting field is called.
The BAFS TD has been hauled before the BAFS disciplinary committee for allegedly committing one of the most serious infractions, misappropriation of funds.
While Thobega is serving suspension from the local fencing mother body pending the BAFS jury’s verdict, a close source indicates that the fencing master’s days at the organisation are numbered.
It is alleged that following procurement a few months ago in preparations for a BAFS event, the procured equipment is yet to arrive despite payment to the supplier processed. Thobega was managing the procurement procedure.
“Thobega is in serious trouble if the verdict of the matter comes back unfavorable and he risks facing the exit door. He has been on suspension for some time now and the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) is aware of the matter. He has since met with the BNSC and they don’t want anything to do with him despite being the BAFS TD,’’ a source revealed to Sunday Standard.
While the jury (as BAFS match floor judges are called) is yet to release its verdict, which is expected next week, some are already writing the BAFS TD’s fencing obituary.
“Thobega stands no chance against his case as he is judged to have misused funds of the organisation. While payments of over P11 000 were given to the supplier, it is alleged that material received by BAFS were just under P1 000,” a source intimated.
“When called for a hearing by BNSC and BAFS top brass, the supplier implicated Thobega to have dealt with him on basis of getting something from the job, an accusation which he could not defend,” the source explained.
In an interview with BAFS president Mandla Masuku, he shied from commenting on the matter saying it is internal and still under investigation. “It is true that our TD is still under investigation on internal things that cannot be shared with media at the moment but communication will be shared as soon as the matter is closed,’’ Masuku said shortly.
For his part, Thobega said he could not comment but would rather ask his advisor on action to take on the matter. “I cannot say anything for now as I still have to consult my advisor,’’ Thobega told Sunday Standard.