Sacked karate coaches demand payment

Jones and Tshikare's contracts were terminated
Jones and Tshikare's contracts were terminated

The Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) has terminated the services of three national team coaches, George Tshikare, Peter Molefhe and Moses Jones, with the association, arguing, it was unable to pay them. But the coaches do not buy the association’s reasoning.

The coaches left their posts on July 31, 2019 and BOKA said the decision was due to the karate body’s failure to remunerate them.

Tshikare told Mmegi Sport that his contract was supposed to run until December, and they were not paid for the last five months.

He said each coach is owed P20,000.

“The contract was up for renewal based on results from the championships and the availability of funds,” he said.

Tshikare said they do not agree with the explanation that BOKA had no money.

He said that was not a valid reason since there were six coaches, only three got the boot and others were left behind.

He wondered where BOKA would get money to pay the remaining coaches.

The three who survived the chop are Chris Ponatshego, Otto Tafa and Keone Kgorotlhe.

“We have written a letter to BOKA demanding answers. We are not satisfied with the explanation that they have given. It does not hold water. There must be something that made them take such a drastic decision,” said Tshikare.

However, Tshikare said the sacking does not dampen his spirit. He said in future if there is an opening in the national team, he would apply. Tshikare said he has worked hard to be where he is, as a qualified coach.

“I do not need any favour to be a national team coach, let procedures be followed and the best candidate be picked, not based on friendship,” he said.

According to information reaching this publication, the straw that broke the camel’s back came during the karate team’s preparation for the African Games.

There were some disagreements over the composition of the 24-member team, which includes 21 karatekas and three officials. 

Ponatshego wanted to replace Centy Kgosikoma with Amantle Ralepeba, which led to disagreements with BOKA.

Kgosikoma, who won gold at the Region 5 Games and a bronze at the UFAK Championship, was due to replace the injured Ralepeba.

Ralepeba was, however, declared fit to compete at Africa Games. It is said the BOKA executive committee differed with Ponatshego on the replacement.

BOKA president, Tshepho Bathai said he was not in a position to discuss other people’s contracts. He said it was up to the coaches to talk about their contracts, but he would not be part of it.

Editor's Comment
Botswana needs proper rehabilitation centres

Our sister publication The Monitor earlier this week carried a story on serious human rights abuses being meted on people who have gone for rehabilitation at a boot camp in Kgatleng. Allegations cite verbal and physical abuses, children being stripped of their dignity and shaved in front of others. While the abuse came to light after a suicide incident of a 23-year-old, Botswana Institute for Reintegration and Rehabilitation of Offenders’...

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