Sports commission considers LTA expulsion

As two-year wrangling stalls taekwondo progress

NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU –    Long-drawn-out bickering that has taken over two years within the Lesotho Taekwondo Association (LTA) has forced the national sports commission to consider deregistering the controversy-ridden association, Public Eye can reveal. The LTA faces this eventuality following administrative squabbles that have put taekwondo activities to a halt for over the past two years.

Public Eye has established that the tiff within the association has always been between the current leadership and the committee they succeeded – with clubs sucked in and taking sides. It is this row which has to date stalled the association’s elective conference, as the outgoing and the new committees cannot agree on member clubs’ eligibility to the conference.

This is while according the constitution the conference was supposed to have been held in March 2019, but has been cancelled twice by court directives with some of the clubs crying foul over their exclusion from taking part in the meeting.

The latest cancellation of the conference was in April, with Lithabaneng Taekwondo Club challenging the decision to exclude them from the meeting. The case by Lithabaneng Taekwondo Club has, however, been temporarily withdrawn with the possibility of a settlement out of court.

This paper has been reliably informed that Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) president, Jobo Raswoko, has asked to meet with the two groups one last time before a final decision.

The possible meeting was confirmed by both the commission’s public relations officers, Teboho Rakhomo, and his LTA counterpart Sek’hok’he Molikoe. Rakhomo revealed that the commission has tried several times to intervene in the matter but to no avail, confirming that the last option, as a result, is to suspend the LTA.

“We have tried to intervene and for a long time, but no avail,” said Rakhomo in an interview with Public Eye on Tuesday.  “But the LSRC president has requested to meet with these people before we decide on further action.”

Rakhomo further revealed that task teams established specifically for the taekwondo squabble are “in the process of recommending that the LTA be suspended.”

“So we have to wait until the president (Raswoko) meets with them and possibly reach a solution, failing which we will, as a result, be forced to suspend the association,” he said.

Rakhomo said even though the LSRC plays a arbitrating role where necessary, that is not its mandate. LSRC is tasked with setting requirements for sports associations to comply with.

“Our mandate is to set the requirements for the associations to comply with, failing which we must take necessary measures.” Rakhomo further said: “…and this thing of being forced into taking drastic decisions has sadly in the past led to associations accusing the LSRC of bias.”     

The possible date for the meeting between Raswoko and the LTA factions is likely this Saturday according to Public Eye findings, but Rakhomo could not be drawn into confirming the exact day. Molikoe, on the other hand, confirmed the paper’s findings that  the meeting was likely to take place this weekend. “We are likely to be called for a meeting this Saturday, but the date is yet to be finalised,” said Molikoe on Tuesday.

If the LTA is eventually suspended, it will be the second the LSRC cuts ties with an association within two years after the Lesotho Lawn Tennis Association (LTTA) was also struck off the commission’s affiliates. The tennis board was suspended because of similar administrative problems.

  

  

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