THE Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) has summoned the association’s outgoing secretary general Makara Thibinyane and vice president Tšeliso Pheta for a disciplinary hearing on charges of misconduct.
The duo is set to appear before a disciplinary panel on 5 February 2021 at the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) offices in Maseru.
FAL public relations officer Sejanamane Maphathe confirmed the developments.
Thibinyane and Pheta were among the association’s members who organised and forcibly convened elections in contravention of the association’s constitution last October.
The accused further dragged some of the outgoing committee members; Makhola Serake, Kokolia Mokonyana and Sejanamane Maphathe to the High Court accusing the trio of refusing to release the federation’s funds and also for continuing to call for the federation’s meetings when they had been “ousted”.
However, the October elections as well as the case were later withdrawn as per World Athletics advice.
In the separate letters signed by FAL outgoing president Makhaola Serake, Thibinyane and Pheta’s misconduct charges were based on their non-compliance with the arbitration tribunal’s decision as per articles 9.2 (c) and 9.5. (a) iii of the FAL constitution.
The letters also stated that the duo is accused of failing to exhaust all the association’s internal remedies before taking the association’s disputes to the High Court without the authorisation of the national executive committee (NEC) as per article 5.1 (e) of the constitution. They are also accused of putting the federation into a bad financial position.
During the unconstitutional October 2020 election, Pheta was elected president while Thibinyane maintained the secretary general post.
Meanwhile, the association has already embarked on preparations of the constitutional elections scheduled for June 2021 as stated in elections’ roadmap.
Thibinyane told the Lesotho Times paper that he is considering absconding from the hearing because “the decision was made by only three NEC members”.
“I can’t go to a hearing that was called by only three members of the NEC,” Thibinyane said.
“Secondly, we are all outgoing committee members, we are equal. Therefore, we cannot make any such.”
Thibinyane recently said World Athletics advised that all factions of the association to collaborate in preparing for the constitutional elections but he was surprised that the outgoing president, Serake was sidelining him.