- BOKA interim committee to bring the police into the matter
- Bathai ignores calls to hand over resists and demands talks
Former president of Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) Tshepo Bathai and the organisation’s former secretary general Karabo Samuel are alleged to be facing more charges of embezzlement following their recent suspension from BOKA and all karate activities pending investigations.
However, the two are resisting all approaches from an interim committee and have written to BOKA to that effect.
Bathai was removed from his position alongside eight other committee members in absentia last month through a motion of no confidence clause in the BOKA constitution. However, he has not honoured an invitation to handing over.
The interim committee that replaced them has launched an investigation into Bathai and Samuel who are alleged to have misused BOKA funds.
A letter dated 11 October 2022 from the interim Secretary General Othusitse Dick to Bathai states: “It is alleged that you in the capacity of …BOKA president knowingly submitted an invoice dated 04 April 2022 to Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) officials to pay for the Lobatse Sports Festival medals to the tune of P20,509.00 and P1,800.00 for branding of medals and we have in good record that Lobatse Sports Festival was not supposed to be funded from government coffers.”
The letter accuses Bathai having requested P7,562.00 from BNSC under the pretext that it was for a BOKA retreat. It is also alleged that he provided false information to the Registrar of Societies to approve BOKA constitution.
Bathai, who is said to be in possession of BOKA’s purchase order book despite his suspension, was told to also return gadgets such as TV screens and tablets that were procured in 2019 for the Africa Senior Cup that was held in Botswana.
The interim committee has concluded that these acts are tantamount to corruption and gross maladministration and says it has to hand the matter Botswana Police Service and DCEC and for further investigations.
His style of affiliation Karate No-Michi is also suspended from BOKA and all karate activities for hosting a unsanctioned tournament with government funds.
Sources say Bathai and Samuel have so far ignored letters from the interim committee calling on them to hand over what belongs to BOKA and have instead written back resisting to step down. It is alleged that Bathai has asked for talks.
Interim secretary general Dick has confirmed that the former committee is still in possession of BOKA assets and property. “Among others, they are still in possession of BOKA chequebooks, bank cards and a purchase order book,” he said in an interview.
“Some of the issues that we have found are beyond us and we have engaged law enforcement to advise us, especially with regard to issues of corruption and maladministration.”