By Mikia Kalati
MASERU — A special conference for the Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) had to be aborted last Friday after members exchanged blows as they clashed over the composition of delegates.
The conference was immediately called off and a case of assault has since been opened at the Maseru Central Police Station Charge Office.
LAAA public relations officer, Maphathe Sejanamane, confirmed the development in an interview with the Lesotho Times on Tuesday.
“What I can tell you is that what happened during the conference was a very sad situation in the history of our association and I cannot even go further and talk about it because the matter is now in the hands of the police,” Maphathe said.
“All I can say is that those who had a conspiracy to cause trouble during the conference will face the consequence once the investigations have been completed.”
Maphathe, who left the country for the World Athletics Championships in Russia on Tuesday, said there are people who were bent on destroying the reputation of the athletics body.
The championships begin on Saturday.
Maseru Athletics Academy member, Neo Ramarou, told this paper that he and Kokolia Mokonyane who was the representative of the athletics association from Mafeteng were chased out of the conference.
“I was at the conference on behalf of Maseru Athletics Academy’s president who could not make it there due to other commitments,” Ramarou said.
“To my surprise, some members of the association tried to chase me out of the conference and the same thing happened to my colleague Kokolia Mokonyane and it was at this stage that emotions ran high and a fight broke out between some other members of the association.”
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Ramarou said a case of assault has already been opened at the Maseru Central charge office and they will be waiting for the law to take its course.
“The current situation within the athletics association is very sad and it is hampering the development of the sport,” said Ramarou.
He said they will seek mediation from the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) as well as the Ministry of Sports.
He told this paper that members of the association are still unhappy following last year’s October elections.
“The elections were free and fair and we will fight until we are sure that the athletics body is clean,” he said.