The Namibian (Windhoek)

18 December 2012

Namibia: Gymnastics Federation Renegade Continues

THE Namibia Gymnastics Federation again has defied the Sport Commission by sending 'illegal national teams' to the recently concluded Zone Six African Championships in Pretoria, South Africa.

According to the Sport Commission's chairperson Vivienne Katjiuongua, they did not approve a gymnastics team to represent Namibia at the competition.

The NGF was struck from the Sport Commission's roll in September for failure to comply with directives from the country's sport mother body and the disregard of its own constitution.

Consequently the NGF is not allowed to organise or take part in any domestic or international competitions pending the outcome of its appeal.

"We have been trying to find out if they are there as a national team or in some other capacity," Katjiuongua told The Namibian.

"They do not have permission to be participating under the flag of Namibia. It's a total disregard of the rules and regulations as stipulated in the Sport Act."

Although the NSC has threatened to impose sanctions against the NGF for repeatedly undermining its authority, no action has been taken against the renegading sport body to date.

Thus the Federation has ignored the NSC and has continued its operations while also instructing its members to follow suit.

"The purported de-registration however has no impact on the NGF registration with the NNOC and the FIG and fulfils the registration requirements as stipulated by the FIG. The NGF remains in good standing with the NNOC as well as the gymnastics main body in the world, the FIG and the FIG still acknowledges the NGF as the only gymnastics federation from Namibia," NGF secretary general Barbara Krauer said in a letter to the affiliate clubs last month.

The appeal process and hearing is expected to take place under the directive of the still to be appointed chairperson of the NSC Appeal Committee for which a three-member panel must be assigned by Sport Minister Jerry Ekandjo.

Meanwhile, an irate Michael Jaeger - whose alleged assault on a coach during national trials last year sparked the controversy - claims maladministration and other "illegal activities" are the norm at the NGF.

Jaeger, whose club Crete has been barred from all competitions by the NGF as a result of the alleged assault, added that it was a disgrace that this issue was allowed to drag on for so long

"The sport is in shambles and due to the legal system being so slow more damage is being done by the NGF and we just have to sit and look how innocent children are being abused and their rights being taken by the day," Jaeger said.

"These are members that sit in high positions in Namibia but neglect to serve all children in Namibia. The lies these exco members are telling the public are yet again proof of nepotism in this country. All we can learn from this is if the NGF does not have to obey to the law then why should anybody obey to the law of Namibia?"

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