Taekwondo fights, LSRC steps in

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Leemisa Thuseho

LESOTHO Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) president Jobo Raswoko has been forced to intervene to resolve the protracted Lesotho Taekwondo Association (LTA) disputes.

Although with little success, Raswoko last weekend met the waring taekwondo clubs whose fight has stalled the association’s elective conference since last year.

The association was supposed to have held its election in February 2020 in line with its constitution but failed on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last November, the elections failed again after some clubs (Khubetsoana, Sefika and Maseru Day) filed an urgent application in the High Court to stop them. The clubs also wanted the court to stop the LTA from inviting to the AGM some clubs that were alleged to be non-members of LTA.

Eventually, the High Court ordered the LTA to prepare a new clubs list and prepare for elections as per its constitution last December.

After the preparation of the new list, some teams including; Limkokwing, Ngoatonyane, ‘Mabathoana, Abia, Lepereng, Mazenod De Bishop, Hlotse, Itekeng, and Lithabaneng were left out as they were declared non-members by the High Court.

The elections were once again stopped by another court order in April this year when Lithabaneng Taekwondo Club filed an urgent application in the High Court. Lithabaneng were forced to approach the courts to protest their exclusion from the list of clubs invited for the AGM. The case has been pending in the High Court since April.

After the LSRC and the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) joint team failed to resolve the disputes, Raswoko took the matter to his office.

On Saturday, he met with all the concerned clubs. The meeting was held at the LSRC premises in Maseru.

However, this publication has established that the meeting failed to yield any positive results as the parties failed to agree on which teams must be invited for the AGM.

Lithabaneng trainer, Palamang Adams told the Lesotho Times that they were prepared to settle the matter out of court but now that even the LSRC president had failed to resolve the dispute, they would now pursue it with the High Court.

“We had stopped pursuing the matter in court hoping the president would address it but we will now proceed,” Adams said.

Raswoko confirmed the developments but was reluctant to disclose his own findings and the outcome of the meeting citing that he was yet to give his report to the LSRC executive committee in its next meeting next Tuesday.

“I am not yet done with the issue… I requested the LSRC committee to give me a chance to attend to the matter, therefore, I must report back. The committee will meet next Tuesday and only then will I be able to disclose my findings.

“Maybe after Tuesday we will also have the LSRC’s final decision regarding the issues.”

He said they are hoping that the disputes will end as soon as possible to allow preparations for the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games. The games will be held in Maseru in December.

LTA public relations officer Sek’hok’he Molikoe said the association will abide by any ruling given by the courts or the sports mother bodies.

“We have been taking advise from our mother bodies as we prepare for the elective AGM. We have also been abiding by the court orders. Therefore, even now, we are ready to abide by any outcome either made by our mother bodies or the courts,” Molikoe said.

As for the AUSC preparation, he said they will not be stopped by the fights.

“I can assure you that taekwondo will have a competing team in the games. We will soon start our team selection despite the ongoing disputes,” Molikoe said.

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