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Boxing president defended


IMG_2489Moorosi Tsiane

Some Lesotho Amateur Boxing Association (LABA) members have distanced themselves from bullying tactics three of their fellow executives accuse association president Takatso Ramakhula of allegedly employing.

Public relations officer Thapelo Motsetsele, secretary general Thabiso Mokuoane and treasurer Lehohonolo Snyman last week accused Ramakhula of “abuse of power” in an interview with the Sunday Express but vice-secretary Masetota Leshota and committee member Moeketsi Maitin have dismissed the claims.

“I am shocked to see that our association has been making headlines for the wrong reasons of late. It is amazing that people can make such claims, among them that LABA has not been holding meetings as required by the constitution while they have always been in our meetings and those who did not attend was because they chose not to.

“Our constitution is clear that if a member misses a certain number of meetings, his or her membership is automatically terminated and that is what happened with Motsetsela,” Leshota said.

“I was surprised also to see him talking to the media this time around while he failed to do so while he was still our spokesperson yet that was part of his duties. The last time we spoke, he told me that he wanted to resign from LABA so I am surprised he still calls himself our public relations officer.”

Leshota heaped praise on Ramakhula insisting in her almost two decades in boxing, Ramakhula has been the best president she ever worked with.

“What these people are saying are pure lies. I have served boxing for almost 20 years and believe me, I have never worked with a president of Ramakhula’s caliber; a president who cares so deeply about our boxers’ welfare. He knows all our national team boxers and their backgrounds and always tries his best to see that they are taken care of.

“If he was a dictator like those gentlemen were saying in your paper last week, he could have just ignored the boxers who were selected to represent the country in the upcoming All-Africa Games (in September in Congo-Brazzaville). That is because last month’s championship where the team was picked, was organised by our secretary general without consulting other LABA members but, no, Ramakhula just authorised those names because he wants to see boxing grow in our country.”

The only reason LABA has failed to hold many tournaments is because the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) says it does not recognise the current executive, she added.

“Since Ramakhula was appointed our president (in 2012), things have not been well for us and the Sports Commission has refused to give us our annual subvention, saying they do not recognize our committee. But surprisingly, the same LSRC has been taking our boxers to international competitions yet they were claiming they did not recognize us.”

Leshota said it was no surprise that Snyman was part of people complaining as he was also vying for the presidency but lost to Ramakhula in 2012.

“Snyman was a contender for the presidency and lost but still, he was co-opted into this committee. So if Ramakhula was such a bad guy, why would he suggest co-opting Snyman for the treasurer’s position?”

She also dismissed accusations that Ramakhula appointed his friend as coach for two boxers (Moroke Mokhotho and Inkululeko Suntele) who are on an Olympics scholarship.

“There is no truth in this either. The bottom line is the LNOC wanted to babysit us during our meetings when selecting the coach and we couldn’t agree with that. But we have since sent them five profiles of people who can coach the two boxers.”

Maitin, on his part, said: “These people are killing boxing because I fail to understand why Ramakhula would be elected Zone IV treasurer if he was that corrupt like these guys are saying.”

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