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BOKA Suspends Karateka

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TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

Rumours of sabotage and favouritism are flying thick and fast around the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) after suspension of one of the national team’s karatekas, Quinton Mosupiemang. According to sources close to the developments, Mosupiemang’s suspension by BOKA comes as no surprise because the association has been against the karateka since 2017. They point to how the karateka emerged a national champion in 2017 but was reportedly dropped from the Zone 6 team and replaced with the coach of the national team Christopher Ponatshego’s younger brother, Tlotlang, who had come second during the championships.

In 2018, Mosupiemang nevertheless did not despair as he went on to become the Africa Karate Championships (UFAK) silver medalist. However, in 2019 Mosupiemang found himself on the edges of the national team yet again after he was not selected for the Zone 6 championships while lower ranked Tlotlang was again picked ahead of him. This is despite the fact that Mosupiemang finished second (above Tlotlang) during the national selections.

“After that the young man felt that enough was enough and went on report the matter to the Botswana National Sports Commission, they advised that he be picked and he went on to win a gold medal at the competition (Zone 6),” a source told Gazette Sport. Mosupiemang’s squabbles with BOKA reached another level over the past weekend when he received a letter of suspension. According to the letter dated 27 January which is signed by the BOKA secretary general Phineas Motseolapile(seen by this publication), Mosupiemang is suspended for allegedly taking the association’s internal matters to outside bodies without following proper channels.

“This is gross misconduct and is against the BOKA constitution article 7.5 which talks about seeking redress and/or dispute resolution against BOKA ,” the letter reads. “This is also a breach of the BOKA Code of Conduct which your federation, Botswana Hayashi Ha Karate Federation, endorsed at the AGM of 5th May 2018 and has the potential of bringing karate into disrepute.” Gazette Sport sources, however, believe the suspension is meant to frustrate Mosupiemang into quitting the sport as it also comes at a time of the national team selections that are scheduled for Saturday February 22. The suspension letter says he is not allowed to take part in activities of BOKA or programmes funded by the association until he is fully investigated.

Reached for a comment, BOKA Vice President Administration, Sensei Sam Dire, dismissed the allegations that they are at loggerheads with Mosupiemang. “That just speculation,” he said. “His suspension is due to misconduct and all details are tabulated in his suspension letter.” Asked why the karateka seems to have been targeted around selections, Dire responded: “I cannot comment on the selection issues as they are for the selection committee. What I can say is that the karateka must analyse himself as he might be doing some unacceptable things.”

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