Caption: From left, Lefa sec-gen, Mokhosi Mohapi, Fedale President, Mopeli Nthejane and LNA President, Moipone Mashale
Maseru Following the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) elections on February 26 2017 some of the national federations and associations have lodged protest against LNOC as they believe the elections were marred by anti-constitutional practices.
In order to solve the dispute an arbitration committee was formed. The arbitration committee had been sitting on Sundays over the past six weeks to set all the logistics but it was only last week when thing turned other way round when the respondent, LNOC, withdrew from the arbitration.
The withdrawal was officially announced at a press conference held at LNOC premises last week Wednesday by LNOC member Adv Bothobile Shebe who said the decision to withdraw was forced by the failure of the plaintiff to fulfill some of the items agreed on in the arbitration.
Shebe pointed out that it was agreed that each party must put down a certain amount as security to all the expenses of the arbitrator but the plaintiff failed to do so. According to Sheba as the governing body is their responsibility to find positive solution to any incidents they believe would financially affect the associations and federations negatively. Therefore, she said, the LNOC board believes there is no money in the associations and federations so they didn’t want to leave them in debt.
In addition to that Sheba said they asked the plaintiff to provide the arbitration committee with minutes to prove the plaintiffs were given permission from their respective associations and federations to pursue with the matter but unfortunately that was not done.
On top of that, she said the arbitration could still continue in their absence but noted that the delay caused by the plaintiff had wasted a lot of time that could have been used to execute other serious matters and plans to improve sports in the country.
She said through their withdrawal they were opening other doors for the matter to go to a better level, which is the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she believes there will be no delay on this matter. She said at the end of this arbitration each party is eligible to make an appeal to the same court.
At a press conference held Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena on the 12th of April 2017 the forefront federation and associations accusing the LNOC said they are not fighting for positions or protesting against anyone but what they are requesting for is clarity.
Some of represented bodies are Lesotho Football Association (Lefa), Lesotho Netball Association (LNA), Federation of Dancesport Lesotho (Fedale) and Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA).
Lefa Secretary-General, Mokhosi Mohapi said a day after the elections they took initiatives to meet with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) and LNOC for a dialogue but they were denied the right to do so, to an extent that the arbitration was called.
Mohapi said they are continuing with the arbitration regardless of the withdrawal of the respondent. He said they are ready for dialogue if is called but only if is it is from the LNOC secretary-general and added that they will be satisfied with the arbitration results only if they are in favour of the country sport not individuals.
“We want to make sure the people in reins are legitimate to the seats,” he said.
In addition, the LNA president Moipone Mashale said if they were given chance to be heard before, during and after the elections the matter wouldn’t have been at this stage.
“We are more than ready for mediation because it is what we have been fighting for from the onset regardless the illegitimacy of committee,” said Mashale.
Meanwhile, the LNOC president ‘Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoqopo was appointed into the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Education Commission during the Association of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC) conference held in Spain from the 7th to the 10th April 2017. The LNOC vice-president administration, Tlali Rampooana, said this is great achievement b the country as it is the first time the country is obtaining such high post in the IOC.