Local Rugby Union Escapes Chop

Sean Irish, BRU acting President PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Sean Irish, BRU acting President PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) has escaped suspension from the World Rugby and Africa Rugby after failing to hold annual general meetings (AGMs) for the past two years.

Rugby Africa vice president, Dave Gilbert told Sport Monitor that Botswana was in danger of being suspended since they were non-compliant as per the constitution.

“Today’s meeting was important and had to be done because at end of this month there is a meeting between World Rugby and Rugby Africa. There is also an elective general assembly of Rugby Africa,” he explained.

Gilbert said if Botswana had not been compliant by end of February, and that he is not saying they are fully compliant now because it would depend on the report that he would give at the meeting. He said the decision would be made at the gathering.

“If Botswana did not have this AGM, there was going to be a possibility of suspension from World Rugby and Rugby Africa. That would have been a disaster because it would take two years to be accepted back,” added Gilbert.

Meanwhile, acting BRU president, Sean Irish has vowed to clean rugby mess. Irish, who was elected as the vice president-technical two years ago, was announced as the acting president during BRU AGM on Saturday.

Tosca Segaise is the acting vice president-technical while Bob Lekan is the acting vice president-administration. Irish said they have been going through hard times in the past year but have managed to iron out some of the problems.

He said the committee was going to clean up all the mess that occurred in the past. Irish added  that they intended to hand over a clean slate including financially at the next elective meeting.

“The committee is ready to move forward and we would be consulting a lot with clubs. We are going to have transparency because most clubs believe it does not exist in the BRU,” he promised.

Irish noted that BRU base was strong but admitted that they still had problems around the edges. He revealed that they had ups and downs in 2018, but in the field they had great moments.

BDF Cheetahs chairperson, Farid Pandor said the delegates deserved to be informed about the reasons that led to the resignations of committee members.

He said Irish spoke about rugby mess and it was only right for him to explain what he was talking about.

“We have not held an AGM for the past two years and we are only doing it due to the pressure from Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and Rugby Africa. If it is our mess, we must know it,” he said.

Pandor said the delegates should be informed about the progression of Irish as the president.

Responding to Pandor’s comments, Irish said it was impossible for Lekan to be co-opted as the interim president because he was co-opted as vice president.

“It has been difficult for us to put together the financials after the passing of the treasurer. That is why we did not have an AGM last year. The 2018 financials are underway at the moment,” he said.

BRU treasurer, Boitshoko Tsiane said they believe the 2018 financials would be cleaner and the 2019 ones would be done on time.

“We are aware of the deadline which is end of this month for the submission of the 2018 financials to Rugby Africa,” Tsiane said.

Meanwhile, UB Rhinos were stunned when informed that they could not participate in the meeting as they had not paid affiliation fee.

That did not go down well with Rhinos delegate, Mooketsi Ramakele as he accused BRU of being inconsiderate. “BRU has failed to follow its own constitution by sending notice of meeting late and it did not have the financial report,” he said.

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