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Bakwadi Protests BOKA Elections

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
BOKA's newly elected executive committee PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
KANYE: The tension within the karate community took a turn for the worst on Saturday during the elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) that was held in Kanye.

The situation went out of hand leading to presidential candidate, Mpho Bakwadi protesting the meeting.

Bakwadi walked out of the meeting together with International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) chief instructor, Eileen Alberts who was to contest for the position of vice secretary general against Bose Caiphus. Bakwadi’s protest meant that Tshepho Bathai went into the elections unopposed for the position of the presidency. Only six federations were left to attend the AGM out of eight.

The other issue that caused havoc at the AGM was the suspension of Karabo Samuel by his federation, JKA Botswana. Samuel who was running unopposed for the position of secretary general was slapped with a suspension letter on the eve of the AGM together with the vice chairperson, Keone Kgorotlhe.

According to the suspension letter that was written by JKA Botswana secretary general, Kgosietsile Dibotelo, the Leadership Forum of JKA agreed during a meeting to suspend the two with immediate effect. “This follows their continued refusal to cooperate with the collective leadership of the federation in dealing with matters that affect the federation, which have the potential to derail and to harm the future of the federation,” the letter reads in part. However, the duo did not fold their arms and accept the suspension.

In their response letter, Samuel and Kgorotlhe argued that the Leadership Forum is unconstitutional and unlawful, contrary to article 8.1 of the constitution of JKA. “We therefore wish to categorically make it clear that the forum you purport to have resolved to suspend us does not exist in the constitution of JKA Botswana,” the letter reads in part.

The Leadership Forum did not respond to the letter, therefore Samuel ran for the position that he wanted. When the AGM started, JKA informed the meeting that they wanted to change delegates.

According to sources, the new delegates who were being introduced belonged to Bakwadi camp, therefore it was a trap for Bathai. That was

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not accepted as it was announced that the deadline had passed and there was no way delegates could be changed. Speaking to Sport Monitor, Bakwadi said despite everything that went down, he does not intend to approach the courts to seek redress.

He added that it might seem like he is bad looser. He said that he realised that things were not being done properly and he could not stand for such. He said other federations had changed their delegates on the day of the meeting, but JKA delegates were not allowed. “JKA brought a letter to make changes a day before the meeting, but other styles changed delegates on the day. So we tried to advise Bathai that he should allow JKA to make changes that they wanted. But he realised that they were not going to vote for him. So that is when we decided to walk out. We could not just sit in the meeting and watch them make fun of us,” he said. Union Kgafela who was contesting for vice president-technical pulled out leaving David Hubona to run solo.

For his part, Bathai said it is difficult to deal with administration issues during an AGM. He said JKA could have brought the matter the previous day.

“We gave JKA an opportunity to present their case and we have asked for evidence that they had suspended Samuel and Kgorotlhe. Since the wanted to change delegates, we asked for minutes from the meeting, but they failed to produce the evidence. Despite all that, JKA participated in the AGM,”he said. Bathai said sport elections are always marred with emotions and people

use different strategies to win. He said in some instances, some walk out, but if there is a quorum, the meeting proceeds.

The executive:

President: Bathai, Vice president-technical: Hubona, Vice president-administration: Samuel Dire, secretary general: Samuel, vice secretary general: Caiphus, treasurer: Kutlwano Mukokomani and PRO: Isaiah Ramontshonyana.



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