MASERU – Former Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) treasurer, Kokolia Mokonyana, has been booted out of the federation amid claims he assaulted a female colleague. FAL Secretary General, Makara Thibinyane, told Public Eye that the alleged assault happened last year.
However, Mokonyana denies the claim insisting he has never, since the allegations surfaced, been called for a hearing or been served with any dismissal letter in relation to the matter. “I have never been served with any letter summoning me to a hearing or a dismissal letter to date,” Mokonyana said. “I have only heard from other people who claim to have seen a letter to that effect on social media.”
Mokonyana was served with a letter to show cause why he could not be dismissed from the federation in November last year. He responded to the letter. A member of the Mafeteng District Athletics Association (MDAA), Tlotliso Ntai, received a similar letter at the same time accused of bringing the FAL’s into disrepute. He also responded to the letter.
“After I heard about this so-called dismissal I asked myself whether my response has not been enough for them to make a judgment, because like I have indicated I have never been to any hearing regarding the assault incident I am accused of,” Mokonyana said. This is my contention because I was at Ntai’s hearing where I was also a witness; they could have served me at the time because the FAL executive committee was also there, Mokonyana continued.
He argues he should have been served with the judgment so that he could appeal but Thibinyane said Mokonyana deliberately snubbed the hearing. He said this was despite that he was even reminded about the hearing when he attended Ntai’s hearing as a witness on February 25. “His hearing was set to take place on February 26 but he chose not to attend despite having been reminded about it a day before when he attended Ntai’s hearing as the witness,” said Thibinyane in an interview with Public Eye.
Thibinyane also revealed that Mokonyana and Ntai were both represented by the same lawyer. As a result, he continued that Mokonyana lied when he said he was not called for the hearing. “Apart from the fact that he was reminded a day before, the two are represented by one lawyer therefore there is no way Mokonyana could not have been summoned to the hearing while Ntai was called for his.
“I mean, if their lawyer knew about Ntai’s hearing he also knew about Mokonyana’s hearing,” Thibinyane said. Thibinyane further said it’s also not true that Mokonyana had not been served with the dismissal letter. “No, that’s not true. I served him through an email. We wrote him on Tuesday (last week), ratifying the recommendations of our tribunal disciplinary.” Thibinyane also said Mokonyana’s judgment was copied to his district association, MDAA, amongst others.
But MDAA Secretary General, Kubutu Moea, said his association had not received a copy of the said letter. Just like Mokonyana, Moea said he only saw a copy of that letter in a WhatsApp group. “I only saw the copy of the said letter in a WhatsApp group,” Moea said. “I haven’t received the letter directly as the secretary.” Moea said Thibinyane last copied him the show cause letters written to both Mokonyana and Ntai on November 5, 2021.
According to Thibinyane, the trouble is only that Mokonyana continued to officiate in athletics events despite his earlier provisional suspension. “We were aware that he was not respecting the conditions of his provisional suspension as he kept on officiating in athletics events as if nothing happened, including Ntai. Just yesterday (last Friday) Mokonyana was a starter in a schools’ competition in Mafeteng.” Meanwhile, Ntai’s hearing has been postponed to next month.