WITH less than two weeks before the commencement of the Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco, local athletes remain in the dark with regards to whether they will make it for the games due to financial problems.
The team’s chef de mission Tšepang Mantutle told the media this week that they have assembled a 27-member team which will participate in boxing, athletics, cycling, tennis, weightlifting and taekwondo.
The games are set run from 16 August to 30 August 2019.
But Mantutle told the media that they are still waiting for money from the government.
“We have assembled a team that is supposed to travel to Morocco for the games but unfortunately, we still haven’t received the money for preparations and travel for trip,” Mantutle said.
He said their budget for the games was M8 million and of that, M1.5 million was for the preparations.
“Our budget was M8 million and of that amount, M1.5 was meant to help the athletes to prepare for the competitions but we still haven’t received any money despite the date being so close,” he said.
Mantutle however, said they have decided to take players who were already in High-Performance and Podium Performance Programme as they are already exposed to some intensive training.
“We have run out of preparation time so the task team which was selected to prepare for the games decided that we take athletes who are already in High-Performance and Podium Performance programmes.
“We had hoped that at least the last 12 days before they depart to Morocco, our teams would have a full camp but there is no money so that has flopped.
“however, despite the challenges, I think we are ready for the games and if we go, the athletes will be going there to compete and not to just add numbers,” Mantutle said.
Speaking at the same event, LSRC public relations officer Teboho Rakhomo they are still waiting for the government to release the money.
Rakhomo said they can’t afford to miss the competition as they will have to pay huge penalties.
“We are still waiting for the money. The chef de mission is supposed to fly to Morocco on the 10th (Saturday) of this month and the opening ceremony is penned in for next Friday but so far, nothing is clear on what is going to happen although our hope is that the team will go.
“We cannot afford to miss the games because we will be penalised heavily,” Rakhomo said.
Rakhomo also officially received a 22-seater minibus donated by the Matekane Group of Companies (MGC).
Team Lesotho is made up of Mosito Lehata, Jobo Khatoane, Toka Badboy, Phomolo Lekhooana, Ramolefi Motsieloa, Nomakoe Nkhasi who will be competing in athletics male category with Tšepang Sello, Lerato Sechele, Mokulubete Makatise and Mamakoli Senauoane competing in female category.
Boxing will be represented by Moroke Mokhotho, Arena Pakela, Qhobosheane Mohlerepe and Tlholohelo Mokhesi who will all be competing in male category.
Moloisane Marumo, Tšeliso Mosoeunyane and Ramosoeu Nkuebe will be competing in taekwondo male category with Michelle Tau and Mapuleng Tiheli competing in female category.
A tennis starlet Nyathi Motlojoa will be the only representative in tennis male category.
Ntsinyi Machachamise and Thapelo Sebota will be competing in weightlifting male category with Makoena Tšosane competing in female category.