Sports

Taekwondo association elections halted

Chris Theko

The Lesotho Taekwondo Association (LTA) elective annual general meeting (AGM) that was meant to take place on Sunday 29 November 2020 in Maseru did not take place. 

Newsday Sport has since learned that on 26 November 2020, some of the taekwondo clubs filed an urgent High Court application seeking an order to stop the LTA from holding the AGM.

The case was supposed to be heard on Friday but according to acting LTA President Nthati Theko all the parties then resolved to settle the matter out of court.

“The elections or AGM did not happen because we were served, this happed on Thursday and we made a decision to not go ahead as planned,” said Theko. 

“We approached the applicants to further learn of the grievances and to possibly resolve the matter outside courts” Theko said.

This publication was aware of the meeting that took place between all the relevant parties in the matter on Tuesday.  But, according to Theko, an agreement was not reached and the matter will now be settled by the courts. 

“We failed to reach an agreement in our meeting due to the fact that first applicant (Moshoeshoe Molapo) does not want other clubs that we as the current executive committee recognise to be part of the AGM and elections, so we won’t allow that,” said Theko. 

Meanwhile, for his part Molapo refused to give this publication a comment on the meeting.  “Go back to the people who told you about the meeting to give you the details of it,” he said.   

In the case, the first applicant is Moshoeshoe Molapo, the Khubetsoana Taekwondo Club care taker whom Theko said the known administrators of the club said they don’t know.

“The last time we checked he was from Maseru Club, when he introduced himself in a letter to the LTA committee as administrator of Khubetsoana, we inquired from the administrators we know and they denied him,” she said. 

The second applicant is Mashali Phasumane from Sefika Taekwondo Club and the third is Kabelo Mokhotho from Maseru Day, however, Theko told this publication on Tuesday that the latter had pulled out. 

The respondents are LTA, the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) and the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC). 

LTA failed to stage the elective AGM on 31 March as it is stated in its constitution and as a result the current committee has found itself occupying office longer than was expected. 

In his founding affidavit, Molapo states that the LTA constitution makes provisions for the executive committee to serve for a period of three years and hold an AGM, where a new committee shall be elected and this must happen on the 31st day of March. 

But that has not been the case as the current committee was elected into office on 31 March 2017 and remains in office eight months past its sell-by date. The reason for that is because the date fell within the nationwide lockdown. 

But Molapo insist that was not the case as he says the date for elections should have been announced 14 days earlier. 

“Rightfully the AGM is supposed to be called at least 14 days before its date in terms of the constitution of the LTA.  The notice was never issued within the requisite 14 days period prior the holding of the AGM, which would have been long before the lockdown,” Molapo said.

The other issue that Molapo wants to be rectified is that when the LTA committee eventually called for the AGM, some of the clubs were excluded while some were not even registered. 

“The second and third respondents duly held a mediation to address the concerns raised.  At the mediation hearing, the LTA argued that the clubs were omitted because they had failed to pay their subscriptions. It was argued that alternatively, the said clubs failed to participate in at least three tournaments… the problem with this assertion was that the LTA did not have a bank account in which to pay subscriptions as it had been paid traditionally,”

In their prayers, the applicants were seeking an order that: “The first respondent is interdicted forthwith from holding the annual general meeting scheduled for 29 November 2020 pending the finalization of the matter. 

“The second and third respondents are ordered to dispatch the record of proceedings in which it was decided that the first respondent holds elections.”

The applicants also want the notice calling for the AGM and consequently the elections be declared null and void for the LTA’s non-compliance with the time frames prescribed in its constitution. 

The applicants also want LTA to use a list of teams that participated in the 2017 AGM citing that during the term of the outgoing committee, there were only three clubs namely; New Millennium, Police Training College and Leshoboro, which officially applied for membership. 

“The rest of the clubs simply do not have the standing to participate in the AGM,” say the applicants.

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