By Lesotho Times On Jul 21, 2020
THE Lesotho Rugby Sevens national team has challenged the Gender and Youth, Sport and Recreation ministry to fulfill its promise of giving it each player M10 000 for winning the 2019 Rugby Africa Regional tournament.
The promise was made by former minister Mahali Phamotse. In total, the team expects M150,000.
The games were held last September at Mantšonyane Stadium in Thaba-Tseka. Lesotho beat eSwatini and Mozambique to be crowned champions.
The Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) secretary general Litšitso Motšeremeli told the Lesotho Times on Monday that they were still expecting the money.
Motšeremeli said even though the promise was made by the former minister, the ministry must still fulfil the promise.
According to Motšeremeli after the games, they were advised to write to the director of sport in the ministry and the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) but they were yet to get any feedback.
"The director of sport is aware of the promise because soon after the games we were advised to write to the ministry regarding the matter... and we wrote to them in February this year," Motšeremeli said.
On Tuesday, they wrote to the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) requesting that the commission reminds the ministry of the obligation.
"Nevertheless, in September 2019 after the Lesotho Rugby Sevens team won the Regional Rugby Africa Sevens tournament in Thaba-Tseka, the Minister of Sports promised all our players...
"We therefore, humbly request your noble office to remind the office of minister to fulfil and honour the promise," reads a letter dated 14 July 2020. The letter is directed to the LSRC acting chief executive office Teboho Malataliana.
Motšeremeli said the delay is inconveniencing the players as they were hoping to have been paid by now.
The acting principal secretary in the Sport ministry 'Mabataung Khalane confirmed that they were aware of the promise. Khalane however, said the ministry was yet to start working on the matter.
Khalane was reluctant to make any promises but said the matter would be addressed as soon as the ministry received the 2020/21 financial year budget.
"We are aware of the promise but we haven't started working on it. We will only know how we will go about the issue after receiving our budget for this year. One must understand that it is not easy to budget for such promises because they are made without prior consultations with the ministry.
"During this difficult time of Covid-19, the government only gives us money to address urgent issues," Khalane said.