- Beats Bothale by one crucial vote in a re-run
- Bothale cries foul and points a finger at Minister Rakgare
- Advancing women athletes among key goals in Bantsi’s outlook
Twice president of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) before, Moses Bantsi returned to the position for a third time at the BAA elective congress in a tightly contested race in which he garnered 13 votes against Paphane Bothale’s 12 in Gaborone over the weekend.
The two had tied at 12 each before Bantsi gained one more crucial vote in a re-run and was declared the official winner.
Four candidates in Bothale’s lobby retained their seats on the executive committee after Oabona Theetso won with 16 votes to Major Edward Joseph’s 8 to become Vice President Administration.
Raymond Phale was unopposed for Vice President Finance while Mpho Bagwasi and Keamogetse Rancholo retained their positions as heads of the Central and Southern Regions respectively.
Kenneth Kikwe, Isaac Mbise and Tebatso Omphithetse became the new faces on the committee after they were voted in.
Bantsi also serves as Vice President of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA).
In a post-election interview at Adansonia Hotel, Bantsi said he intends to focus on areas that have been lagging behind, especially the performance of women athletes and talent development at the grassroots level.
“I am delighted that the affiliates showed confidence and trust in me,” he said. “It is now time to deliver on my promises and the mandate that we have.
“We have had a lot of promising female athletes who should have risen to stardom by now but their performance regressed drastically. I am happy that I have two women on my board to assist with ways of improving the performance of our women athletes heading to Paris 2024.
“We must also devise and implement strategies for nurturing talent from the grassroots level. We should produce a pool of athletes at junior level to go through all the structures that I am going to make sure are all functional. We don’t have much time at our disposal and must begin to work immediately.”
Meanwhile, Bothale is reportedly unhappy with the results and has alleged that Bantsi beat him because sports minister Tumiso Rakgare campaigned for him in his keynote address to the congress.
“Bothale believes the slight margin separating them means he could have won if Rakgare had not campaigned for Bantsi indirectly,” said one source who cannot be identified.