Sports

Pheta, Thibinyane Summoned by FAL

Chris Theko

The outgoing Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) Secretary General Makara Thibinyane and Vice President Tšeliso Pheta have been summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the athletics body.

The duo has been to a hearing on charges of misconduct and they are set to appear before disciplinary committee on 5 February 2021 at the Lesotho Sports and Recreation (LSRC) offices in Maseru.

Thibinyane and Pheta were in the forefront of the association’s members who organised and convened elections in contravention of the association’s constitution in October last year. 

The elections were then followed by a court case where the accused had taken some of the outgoing committee members namely; Makhaola Serake, Kokolia Mokonyana and Sejanamane Maphathe to the High Court claiming that the trio refused to release the federation’s funds. 

The had also accused the trio for continuing to call and host meetings in the name of the federation despite being “ousted”.

While the respondents were getting ready for their appearance in court, the sport’s international mother body, World Athletics, wrote to the federation and advised them to solve matters out of court.  The October elections and subsequently the High Court case, were then withdrawn as per the advice. 

In the separate letters signed by the 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 federation’s internal remedies before taking the disputes to the High Court without authorization of the National Executive Committee (NEC) as stated in article 5.1 (e) of the constitution. 

Thibinyane told this publication that he plans to not show up at the hearing. 

“I have good intention of not attending that hearing because the decision was only made by only three members of the executive committee,” Thibinyane said. 

“I can’t go to a hearing that was called by only three members of the NEC.

“Also we are all outgoing committee members, meaning we are equal. Therefore, we cannot make such decisions,” he quipped.

Thibinyane and Pheta in November 2020 had said in an interview with this publication that they were looking forward to a peaceful preparation of the constitutional elections. 

However, despite the World Athletics’ advice that all factions of the association collaborate in preparing for the constitutional elections, Thibinyane said he was surprised that the outgoing president Serake has been sidelining him.

During the unconstitutional October 2020 elections, Pheta was elected president while Thibinyane was re-elected the secretary general.   

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