MASERU – Senior officials of the Federation of Lesotho Athletics (FAL) member district committees snubbed the federation’s ordinary conference held in Maseru last Saturday. Public Eye has been reliably informed that the districts athletics associations who snubbed the annual meeting included the Mafeteng District Athletics, Berea, Maseru and Mokhotlong. According to insiders, the representatives of these four associations walked out of the conference, claiming that FAL President, Tšeliso Pheta, was flouting constitution provisions.
This paper has also been informed that after those representatives walked out, armed policemen arrived, claiming that they got tipped off that the athletics bosses were fighting. “It is true that we walked out of the conference following the president (Pheta)’s failure to follow the constitution,” said the Mafeteng Athletics President, Tlotliso Ntai. He further said: “We also are very disappointed that the police were called by those who are in power, saying we were fighting.”
Ntai said because there was never a fight from the beginning, the police had no reason to remove or seizure anyone of them from the conference venue. “The police came heavily armed, but they found us outside and not fighting.” But Ntai said the police were fuming before they told them what really happened. The Mafeteng Athletics boss said they stayed out for a while before they went back to their respective places. A member of the Berea Athletics, Mokete ‘Chaplin’ Mpomane, confirmed the two incidents. “We walked out of the conference because they were not following the constitution,” Mpomane said.
“For example, someone was referring to the constitution, but they could not quote any clause in relation to a section they talked about.” Mpomane said they chose to walk out since their presence was not considered in the conference. “We ended up walking out because we could not even raise points of order. “We tried to raise them but they ignored us,” Mpomane said. He further said: “So we walked out and after that they called the police, saying we were triggering confusion.” FAL president, Pheta, confirmed the presence of the policemen at their conference.
But he said their presence was not meant for anything beyond the constabularies normal duty at conferences of that nature. “We could not hold a conference of such nature without notifying the police,” said Pheta in an interview with Public Eye on Wednesday. “We must ask for the permit from the police.” Pheta also confirmed the walkout by some of their members. “Yes, they walked out during the conference and it better for everyone because their intention was to cause chaos while we wanted to do things right.”
Pheta further said: “We knew that they were going to behave like that because they are the same people who had never been happy with the current administration.” The conference was already expected to be an explosive affair, with rumous that some of the members were planning a motion of no-confidence in the executive committee. What happened at the weekend was part of myriad of snags that riddled FAL as a result of factionalism that rocked the local athletics mother-body for about three years now.