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Taekwondo fails at another election attempt

Business

Chris Theko

The Taekwondo Association of Lesotho (LTA) failed to host its elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) again this past weekend after Lithabaneng Taekwondo Club filed an urgent High Court application seeking an order to interdict the LTA from holding the AGM. 

The AGM which was to be followed by executive committee elections was scheduled to take place at the Setsoto Stadium auditorium on Saturday April 24 2021. 

This followed an agreement which was reached by LTA along with the sports mother bodies, Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) on the date for elections.   

In an interview with Newsday sport on Tuesday this week, LTA Public Relations Officer Sk’hokhe Molikoe, said they were surprised to receive a court order on the day of elections barring them from continuing with the meeting, adding that it would have been more palatable if any dissatisfied members would have come forth to raise their concerns prior the day.

“We failed to continue with the AGM because as we were about to get settled we received a court order to stop which was filed by one of our clubs-Lithabaneng Taekwondo Club,” Molikoe said. 

“This was a bit of a shock because they are the very team that we were ordered not to include in the elections as the court ruled that they were not legitimate members” he added.

Lithabaneng was amongst the clubs that the court had late last year ruled that they were not a member following failure to update membership subscription requisites. 

This was after a number of attempts by the association to hold the elections since early last year.

In the first attempt the association was interrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak; the second attempt was a few months later in July 2020 after the LSRC advised the association not to hold the AGM still citing the Covid-19 pandemic which was at the time at its highest. 

Another attempt was in November but that was unsuccessful as some of the taekwondo clubs filed an urgent High Court application seeking an order on November 27, 2020 to stop the LTA from holding the AGM. The clubs also wanted the court to stop the LTA from inviting to the AGM some clubs that were alleged to be non-members. 

The court later ruled in favour of the applicants and ordered that the LTA re-compile the list of clubs to participate in the elective AGM excluding the said non-member clubs who were considered to have never paid LTA membership fees.

The recent attempt was in Mid-March when the elections were called off at the eleventh hour following an alleged call by the LNOC who were supposed to play host for the polling event.

Molikoe said he is worried that the association is now being turned into a political party where members are ever hungry for power hence are always fighting.

“Taekwondo is now beginning to feel like or seem like a political party with all these fights and court orders. It is now frustrating and the way our members do things is uncalled for. Someone knows that elections are coming but they wait until the last minute to take action on their dissatisfaction,” he explained. 

He said from his observation the main cause is the camps that are inside the association. 

“I suspect that one of the camps noticed that they do not have enough numbers to win their desired positions and used Lithabaneng as decoy to halt the elections again,” said Molikoe. 

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the Lithabaneng Taekwondo club, Palamang Adams said their issue was that they were not invited for elections. 

He told this publication that they are aware of a court order which they were never told about and which bars them from participating in the polls. 

He stated that it is time the LTA says whether they (Lithabaneng) are still a member of the association or not. And he also added that all they seek is transparency from the association and justice from the courts. 

The matter will be deliberated before Justice TÅ¡eliso Monaphathi on May 4, 2021.       

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