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Thotanyana on the ropes

Lebohang ThotanayanaBoitumelo Koloi

MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa)’s extraordinary congress which convened yesterday recommended that the association’s second vice-president, Lebohang Thotanyana, be suspended pending a disciplinary hearing to decide on his future at the helm of the soccer governing body.

The extraordinary congress which followed the congress of October 26 was a platform to deliberate on allegations that Thotanyana leaked information that validated allegations of vote-buying against the Lefa President Salemane Phafane in the run-up to the presidential elections.

Shortly after the elections, it had emerged that Phafane may have used his financial influence to coax votes in his favour by entertaining some of the delegates to the elective conference by paying for their hotel stay at the Mafeteng-based Golden Hotel on the eve of the congress.

According to Lefa’s Public Relations Officer, Thabo Maretalane, the congress directed that the National Executive Committee (NEC) suspend its second-vice president pending a hearing.

“Congress concluded that the NEC suspend Ntate Thotanyana pending a fair hearing when he is ready to defend himself,” Maretlane said.

Maretlane was, however, quick to mention that yesterday’s meeting was not one in which Thotanyana was tried, but rather it was an open congress wherein he was at liberty to participate and “not necessarily defend himself since no charges were being levelled against him”.

According to Maretlane, Thotanyana was present at the meeting although he vanished before the end of the meeting.

Meanwhile Thotanyana last night told the Sunday Express that he left the “emergency meeting because I felt tried since I was not given a chance to answer to charges laid against me”.

According to him, although the meeting was said to be an open congress to deliberate on his fate, the gathering was in practice meant to charge him.

“I was actually tried without a hearing because I was barred from answering for myself”, he said.

Thotanyana said it was not fair on him that the same person (President) who instigated the charges against him had been the one who said he could not answer for himself.

“I left the unfortunate meeting for my other commitments because I felt ignored”, Thotanyana said.




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