Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Uphill battle awaits Modongo … as clubs retract signatures

Former Botswana Amateur Fencing Society (BAFS) president Gaolatwe Modongo’s forlorn bid to return to the helm of the local fencing society is turning into a farfetched dream.

Sunday Standard has established that affiliated clubs are renouncing claims that a ‘motion of no confidence’ was passed against BAFS incumbent president Mandla Masuku. This is in stark contrast to allegations made before the court of law by Mudongo that the current BAFS committee has been voted out through a vote of no confidence.

The current mess dates back to 2017 when the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) slapped Modongo with a three-year suspension. While clubs were said to have signed a ‘vote of no confidence document,’ it has since surfaced that they signed without being informed of the facts of the matter.

It has been revealed to Sunday Standard that five of the said seven signatory clubs have since written remorseful letters to the society indicating they were misled. One of the letters directed to BAFS president dated 10th July 2017 by one affiliate indicated an apology for any inconveniences that occurred.

‘’We apologize for the grievances that may have been caused. We were misled and were asked to support a meeting without being told full facts which should have been told to us,” the letter reads.

“Had we have been informed prior and known there was a new executive committee in place and new chair, we would have first sought clarification with the new committee,’’ narrated the letter.

Another letter written by an affiliate club dated 7th July 2017 regretted being part of the letter sent to the central committee dated 24th June 2017.

“We as Tlokweng Fencing club had never intended to diminish the reputation of our beloved sport of fencing in anyway. It came as a surprise to learn from the media about what we believe it was a hidden agenda that the letter had intended for,’’ read the letter.

For Sir Seretse Khama Fencing club, their disclaimer letter read ‘’we wish to withdraw its signature from the letter calling for an emergency meeting as we realize the intensions were not in the interest of the sport. It is unfortunate that we were made part of such practice unaware.’’

Speaking to Sunday Standard, Mudongo indicated that he has a strong case and believes he should be the one at the helm of the local fencing society. He pointed an accusing finger at the BNSC for fuelling factions within BAFS.

“I can confidently confirm that all clubs that had been affiliates during the motion of no confidence have since been barred from taking part in BAFS activities and are only waiting for the case. My suspension was unlawful and BNSC has no right to suspend me as they have no right to pronounce who has the right to lead a society. It is a fact that BAFS has factions and it is alarming that BNSC is sponsoring another faction,’’ said Mudongo.

Efforts to get a comment form Masuku went futile as he shortly said “I cannot comment on the matter as it is still a subject at the court of law’’.

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The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.