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Centre Girl: LebotseSebego’s Harrison Hoist move

Tebogo LebotseSebego (PCH) netball story epitomizes a race well run. She took over as the presidency of the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) in 2007, at a challenging time for Netball with the sport code considered to be the delinquent child of the then Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) now Commission.

LebotseSebego steps down ten years later, and almost every sport person looks at Netball with envy – administratively sound and there are results to that effect. In her own words, the now former President of BONA, LebotseSebego says, “Fast forward to 2017 and Netball is that model child who brought Botswana its very first world event. So definitely my time with Netball has been successful.” One could apply the analogy that when she ascended to BONA presidency, LebotseSebego applied the Harrison Hoist move – in netball it when a one defender lifts another to get more elevation during a jump. It was named after defender Anna Harrison who pulled off the move in Australia 2012.

A number of those who have worked with LebotseSebego point to her team effort approach, she motivated the help of those around her to elevate the Netball sport. They point out that as soon as netball found its footing, she held firm onto the holding position and directed the sport’s proceeding like a netball player will dictate the passing game from the centre court. LebotseSebego started playing netball in 1984 and her first call up for national team was for Under 21 in 1995. She only stopped playing the sport she loves in 2003 and became BONA President in 2007.

During her reign as President of BONA the sport has recorded key achievements including hosting of the Netball World Youth Championships in 2017 where team Botswana got position 9;

During the leadership of LebotseSebego BONA has managed seven players under Zebra Elite Scholarship; she masterminded the attainment of the SPAR partnership; Over 500 Technical Officials trained on international standards during her leadership; and 20 coaches and 10 umpires internationally graded.

According to the former BONA president, other codes can learn a lot from netball, “they can learn that it is important to retain and support leaders who is delivering beyond the 1st term of office to ensure successful execution of initiates started. From me personally they could learn to stay away from the sports politics, be firm, frank and fair.”

Speaking directly to her decision to step down, Madam President as she was affectionately known in some quarters points out that, “this was a decision made in 2013 when my 2nd term started. One of the things we did in 2009 was to revise the Constitution of BONA to have a defined term of office to 2 terms of 4 years. I believe that it was time for me to step forward and for someone with a different focus to come and take netball to the next level,” she said. Interestingly LebotseSebego’s time to step down coincided with the Botswana Olympic committee (BNOC) elections where she launched a serious campaign for Presidency. In the end she was not successful, but she says she is very glad that she put up her hand.

She had assembled an all-woman team for the BNOC elections, of which she says, “I am even more pleased that I went in with a women only team #BokgoniFela. We forced a conversation on the gender skewed leadership, not just in sport but in other spheres. Personally I learnt that sports leaders are NOT ready for female leaders who do not conform or sort of become “honorary men” or play “the game” to be elected into office. I am speaking of me personally and how I felt and this is not meant to imply that any of the women who raised their hands and were elected into office conformed. We managed to get into office 3 very capable women and I wish that we had managed to get at least one more into the more senior positions.”

Despite her unsuccessful bid at the BNOC, LebotseSebego says she is definitely not lost to sport. “Locally I will support as much as I can all codes in areas I am able to influence. I am still the President of Africa Netball and also a Board Director for the International Netball Federation.” The President of the Republic, Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama bestowed LebotseSebego with a Presidential Certificate of Honour (PCH). She is very proud of this recognition, a personal achievement she treasures: “Becoming Tebogo LebotseSebego PCH will remain something I will treasure forever. I am grateful to His Excellency for having bestowed that honor on me.”

With such an honour to her name, what if the Minister of Sport Youth and Culture could decide to appoint her the BNSC chairperson, “Perhaps I would be a bit uneasy if the Minister would hand pick me to lead sport after sports leaders did not vote me in for an important role in sports. However, I would accept the appointment, because sports is a public institution and it is for all people in Botswana and not just the privilege or right of sports leaders. So if the Minister considered me capable for a key role to lead sports, I would accept that role and give it my best.”

One of LebotseSebego’s concerns is that as a country Botswana still relies too much on volunteers to administer sports. “We need more people working full time for sports and for the sports leaders to bring in the strategic knowledge and expertise. With the way we are structured at present, I am of the opinion that we will be delayed to reach our full potential as a sporting nation.”

Madam President’s partying shot is straight to the point: “As is Government is the biggest contributor to sports. The private sector contribution is growing but we need to make it conducive for the private sector to increase its contribution. Also as sporting codes we need to profile and position such that the private sector sees value and want partnerships with sports.”

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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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