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Makwala’s worth much more than gold

When Isaac Makwala stepped up for the 400m race inside drenched Carrara Stadium at Gold coast Australia, he probably knew this was his last attempt to deliver home a medal from the global stage.

Distance memories of the 2017 World Championship games failure came flooding in the minds of those who doubted the ability of the 31 year old runner.  After running a solo race, catching the attention of the athletics world, Makwala could not storm to the podium finish when he chose to run the 200m (instead of 400m) race alongside the company of South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk, who happens to be the race record holder.

But at Australia in the 21st edition of the Commonwealth games, without Van Niekerk, without Bahamas’ Steven Gardiner and without Kirane James of Granada, the roar was not the same. This time around, the melodious cheers of Tuesday afternoon carried a more meaningful weight than before. After so many years of failure, Makwala had a life and death opportunity to rewrite his name in the world athletics folklore. This is the same sport he has, from time immemorial, electrified with a burst of sheer speed and joy.

At Australia, few athletes knew more about time than they actually knew about Makwala. Even with the upcoming talent of Baboloki Thebe, it was no exception. And after so many attempts of failing to chase this ‘time’ down and probably exploding it into pieces, when Makwala eventually caught up with it, he tore it apart. He stormed into the finishing line alone with a time of 44:35. For all the good reasons, the eyes of the world were glued on this Botswana born runner. He came into this race as the overwhelming favourite. His eyes and body language told a simple short story of intent.

No doubt that in so many ways he had seen his final crowning moment coming. It was the one attitude- gracious winner-that he punctuated the victory with his trademark push ups. A race performed with as much aplomb came to a staggering end just under 44 seconds.
“I am so happy that I have finally won what I want; I have trained hard for this. I am actually happy for Southern African countries, like Botswana and South Africa, they have now started to show dominance,” Makwala was quoted as saying after the race.

Statistically, Makwala came to this year’s Commonwealth games as the 8th fastest runner of the 400m race, but when the curtain finally fell down on his illustrious career, he was catapulted to the third spot in the history of the race. That was coming!  On his heats and semi-finals, the Tutume born runner showed command and glimpses of dominance. He was never beaten; no runner on these preparatory races raised his hand to upset the phone book in the finals ahead.

One of the many things that Makwala has brought to this race of all sporting dramas is a sense of unfolding narrative. Because of his size, he has routinely started before his competitors, and then inexorably ran them down, but unfortunately too slow in the last 200m. What used to happen at the last half of the race, however, this time didn’t quite happen. For the first time, as he neared the line, relaxation showed on his face, he did not look like all the others. But the expression was quickly replaced by a broad smile of gratitude and relief.

At 32, Makwala’s career has never been much about to break records, but about proving himself as the flawless competitor who deserves worldwide attention. He is now the first Motswana runner of the 400m race to deliver gold. It could not come at a better time when he has rumoured to be eluding doping tests enroute to Australia. But for all the medals and the records, it is fun in its broadest sense, the indomitable overflow of pleasure, for which Makwala is now remembered for. He has dramatised all that human bodies might be capable of, and done so in a spirit not of “focus” but of celebration.

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Sport

Chiefs’ ownership talks collapse

19th October 2020
MOCHUDI CENTRE CHIEFS

Takeover talks inside Mochudi Centre Chiefs boardroom appear to have collapsed following months of intense persuasion between Chairman Thapelo Tsheole and apparent shareholders, Matshidiso Sexton Kowa and one Tsieng Ramotsha.

Both Kowa and Ramotsha are equal shareholders of Mochudi Center Chiefs PTY Ltd, as per Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) records.

It is said that the current Chairman has grown exasperated with the failure to make significant progress where he wanted to professionalize the club and turn it into a footballing company.

Sources speaking with WeekendSport state that Tsheole wants both Directors to cede 75 percent of their shares to society as he believes the transitional route from society to a company has been bypassed.

Tsheole officially raised his hand for the first time this year, in an attempt to bring an end to more than a decade spell of Chiefs’ ownership, and appeared to have pinned his hopes on reaching an agreement with both Kowa and Ramotlhwa because of their status and good standing as former Chiefs administrators.

However, he now feels he was wrong to believe he was serious in his attempt to cajole the supposed club owners and those close to him have also said he feels he is now wasting his time speaking to them.This follows unsuccessful negotiations where both Directors were alleged to have been left in utter shock concerning the approach and presentation of the Chairman.

While the two Directors would not be drawn to comment, it is said they are both hamstrung to divulge deeper details to Tsheole because of his ambition to transform the club.

Tsheole, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Stock Exchange was surprised when he tried to register a commercial footballing company on behalf of Mochudi Centre Chiefs. He deliberately chose the ‘Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ name because of its popularity as it remains a brand country wide.

He found out that the company name already exists and is under the directorship of both Kowa and Ramotsha.When approached for comment Tsheole could not field any of WeekendSport enquiries but refereed the paper to Pollen Makgane who is the club’s Public Relation Officer.

Makgane confirmed that there are ongoing talks between Chiefs’ current committee and club directors to help in transformation. He said it is not an easy exercise as a lot of understanding has to be done to appreciate the two side of the story.

“I want us to protect the status of the two directors but what is more important is that talks are not as smooth as we had expected. You will recall that Tsheole was given the mandate to transform the club but now there is a deadlock of club ownership,” he said.

While Mochudi Center Chiefs PTY LTD was registered sometime in February of this year, there was another company, Centre Chiefs PTY LTD, associated with the club which has been in existence since the early 1990s. This is the same company that acquired a 7 hector piece of land in Mochudi.

The company had 7 directors namely Victor Kowa as the Executive Chairman, Ezekiel Mooki who was appointed the Technical Director, Serake Mfollwe holding the post of director of Marketing and Public Relations, Simon Mmopi coming as Director of Development, Mac Lean Letshwiti holding the fort as Director of Finance, Sexton Kowa who was Youth Development Director and Kgafela Kgafela who occupied the post of Director of Legal Affairs and Board Secretary.

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Sport

Sebego lieutenants protest election results

19th October 2020
Maokaneng Bontshetse

Fresh from losing the Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive Committee elections, Tebogo Sebego’s aspiring Vice Presidents, Maokaneng Bontshetse and Senki Sesinyi have immediately lodged a protest, arguing that elections were not free and fair.

Of particular interest, the two rejected vice presidents question the involvement of BFA staff members in the counting and verification of ballot papers.

Their arguments rest on Article 20 of the electoral code which reads thus; “only members of the electoral committee may take part in the count.”

Furthermore, Sesinyi, who lost the elections to the eventual winner Masego Ntshingane, argues that Article 16 of the electoral code was flaunted especially during run-off.

The article states that the ballot paper shall be of a different colour for each round of elections.According to Sesinyi’s observations, BFA electoral committee did not use a different colour when the election went to second round.

“The above was not followed as BFA secretaries [sic] was conducting elections which contravened the above section as evidenced by the observers and submitted on the day of elections to the elections officers present. Evidence shall be provided if needed,” Sesinyi wrote.

Sesinyi also submitted that there were allegations of bribery which were doing rounds on the day of elections and even after, something which might have impacted on the outcome of election. In conclusion, Sesinyi seeks fresh elections for all candidates as all processes were not followed.

On the day of the elections, Sesinyi was stationed at Jwaneng where he was eventually voted by 23 delegates out of possible 60.On the other hand, Maokaneng submissions are somewhat similar to that of Sesinyi especially on arguments of Article 20. But he built his case around an alleged spoilt vote that appeared to have cost him the win.

Maokaneng argues that article 21 of the electoral code was violated because, by his own admission, there was no invalid ballot paper as per the definition of the article.“My vote was not counted, reasons known by the secretariat who was verifying and conducting elections by helping the electoral committee member and further ignored Mr Leaketsa’s advice,” Bontshetse submitted.

He further argues that his ballot paper did not have any distinctive marks as defined by the electoral code. The ballot paper did not also bear any words except that of the candidate and could not be labelled as spoilt vote.

It turned out that Bontshetse’s vote was mistakenly thrown into a different box by a delegate but the electoral committee took a decision that it must be regarded as a spoilt vote. This occurred at Palapye voting centre.

“I refer you to the verbal protest that was lodged by an observer at Palapye regarding the counting of the ballot on which a vote under my name was disqualified without any valid reason, therefore contravening the electoral code,” he further submitted.

In conclusion, just like Sesinyi, Bontshetse seeks fresh elections for all candidates. He lost the post to Marshlow Motlogelwa. Bontshetse was voted by 28 delegates while Motlogelwa got 29 votes.

 

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Sport

Ngele to stay in SA

19th October 2020
MOGAKOLODI TSOSO NGELE

Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele will continue to be a resident at Limpopo Province after penning a two year deal with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila Football Club. PIC: BACKPAGE

Ngele was formerly with Black Leopards where he endured a trophy-less season under different coaches.
Leopards is also based in Limpopo province and will share the Thohoyandou stadium with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

Tshakhuma purchased the premier league status of Bidvest Wits few months ago.Ngele is expected to be unveiled alongside mega signings in the mould of former Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates midfielder Oupa Manyisa and Thabo Mnyamane of Supersport United.

Ngele left Black Leopards during the bio-bubble after it was discovered he had signed a pre-contract with Wits before the club was sold.Before agreeing a deal with TTM, Ngele was said to be torn between playing for one more year at South Africa and coming to Botswana to play for high paying Township Rollers.

The Rollers decision was to hinge on his private business where he wanted to monitor it closely. He owns a sporting clothing label and has already signed a two year deal with Notwane FC.Ngele’s career at Leopards blew hot and cold.

He only enjoyed his stay when his former coach Calvin Johnson was at the helm. He played crucial matches and his stunning free kick against Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs is still remembered by his followers.However, there have been many other factors at play.

It is said Ngele’s future at Black Leopards encountered problems of many kind. His future was believed to have been dulled by injuries and a confidence that strangely refused to bloom.The player was also said to have broken ranks with Leopards management where he shocked them when playing for the senior national team late last year albeit claiming to be suffering from a thigh injury.

Ngele went to South Africa on the books of Platinum Stars. His marvellous seasons with the club left Sundowns impressed and they wasted no time to sign him on a five-year contract deal.

This was after winning himself a couple of Man of the Match accolades before scooping the Telkom player of the season in the 2015 season.

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