MASERU – Twelve National Basketball League (NBL) teams want the remaining executive committee of the Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) that was elected last year to be dissolved and fresh elections be held.
Seven members, five in 2018 and two this week, have already given up their executive committee seats.
The teams last week handed over a signed petition to the LBA, citing among others, poor management of basketball in Lesotho. This was confirmed by the association’s former public relations officer, Thabo Matooane on Monday before he also resigned the following day.
“It is true that NBL teams have submitted their petition to LBA. Among others, the teams stated in their petition that basketball is poorly managed therefore the committee should be dissolved and a new committee should be elected,” Matooane said.
LBA is the national administrative governing body that controls basketball in Lesotho.
Matooane suspects that the petition was part of a well-orchestrated conspiracy by the five members who resigned to topple the committee.
“I personally think there is something fishy about this whole thing of a petition. Why am I saying this? It is because I heard that those five members who resigned last week are the ones who arm-twisted the teams into signing the petition,” he said.
“These people have their personal issues with this committee. They are using the teams to push their own agenda.
“The fact that they resigned from the committee without good reasons makes me think they wanted fresh elections. I heard they are going around persuading teams to sign the petition,” he added.
He further indicated that the remaining members of the committee were going to hold a meeting on Thursday (yesterday) to discuss the petition.
“After we have studied the petition, we will then invite Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) and Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) to come forward and mediate as this is a matter beyond our control,” he also said.
But on Wednesday this week Public Eye learnt of Matooane’s sudden resignation.
The publication has also discovered later that day that two other executive committee members had resigned the day before (Tuesday).
“Tšeliso Kheleli, the former director of officials in LBA together with Thabo Matooane former PRO resigned on Tuesday, because of the tension between the committee and the teams,” Ratšolo Molupi, captain of Khubetsoana All-Stars (KTA All-Stars), and Mpho Lesitsi who is the founder of Tornado 98 (T98), told Public Eye.
Asked why he jumped ship, Kheleli said: “I was aware that my services were no longer needed.
“For the benefit of the game that I love, I thought I should withdraw myself from the LBA executive committee. I believe it’s high time we respected our members’ demands and give others a chance to serve.
“We serve at the pleasure of the teams and can only continue serving so long as the member teams still want us to. If our services are no longer required, then it is only prudent that we call it quits”. said Kheleli.
In March, LBA suspended two teams, Bokamoso South and Tornado 98 (T98), after they were found guilty of fielding suspended players during NBL playoffs that were played on March 23.
The two players included T98’s Tšeole Kojane and Fako Masupha of Bokamoso South.