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Failed missions spark Karate infighting

Local Karate hero, Khaya Groth

Accusations of failed missions, favoritism and nepotism were the order of the day at the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) ordinary general meeting last weekend re-instigating the forgotten 2014 boardroom wrangling.

When they were endorsed into office on the 28th of March last year the Sensei David Mathe led committee was to take the baton from the trouble torn and ousted committee of Sensei Tshepo Bathai. At the top of their deliverables, the committee was to amend the constitution to be in line with the contemporary dynamics of karate, but a year on the constitution is yet to be out and this has irked the affiliates as they smelled laxity from those in power.

The subject of constitution amendment has been a subject of concern in karate for many years as it is said to be having countless loopholes. Precisely for the constitution, there are two main areas that have created uneasiness: The clear requirements for new affiliates to be affiliated under BOKA and the regulations of many styles that have been swarming the karate office.

As of now BOKA has ten federations, a number which is said to be un-manageable looking at the stage of the sport locally. The president Sensei Mathe has however he said progress for the awaited developments was on track. “The taskforce has given us two weeks for the constitution to be ready but our affiliates were right to ask for that and they are doing everything for the constitution to be ready.”

The taskforce set to review the constitution was made up of among others veteran karateka Sensei Thupa Thupa and some of the current executive committee members.

Tensions and all hell broke loose when the affiliates went on to accuse the VP Technical Sensei Mpho Bakwadi for alleged favoritism and nepotism for appointing “his friend” Peter Molefe as a coach for the national team while deploying the “experienced” Sensei George Tshikare to the junior teams. This caused fracas as Molefe is regarded as a junior to Tshikare and possesses only local coaching certificates unlike the “experienced Tshikare who has international licenses”.

This saw the affiliates further pointing fingers at the executive for again taking the decision without following the due procedure. “National team coach shall be appointed before the team is selected but this time around it was the opposite so this should be rectified,” they said.

Feeling pressure from the ferocious clubs the decision was taken for interested candidates to submit their applications to take the reins at the national team.

The dilapidated commission especially the technical also became a highlight of the meeting as it is catalyst for all the technical challenges including the coaching tussle. The unavailability of the commission will see the national team coach candidates be assessed by instructors of all the federations.  Mathe has admitted that the committees are inexistent because “the clubs are expected to submit names of those they want in different portfolios, unfortunately only few submitted so that’s the reason why the committees are dysfunctional.”

The deadline for the national team coach submission was yesterday (Friday) and they are expected to lead the national team at zone 6 still this weekend. The executive nonetheless couldn’t answer as to how they arrived at nominating both Bakwadi and karateka Khaya Groth for the BNSC awards as many within the corridors of karate believe the duo were never outstanding last year.

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