Lesotho: Sports Covid-19 Task Team Attacks Tampane

The sports task team which was assembled to advise the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) on sports related matters has come out guns blazing against the Minister of Gender and Youth, Sport and Recreation, Likelei Tampane.

The team is accusing Tampane of failing to advise NACOSEC to recognise it in its deliberations.

The 10-member team led by the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) vice president Moipone Mashale alleges that it has never been consulted by NACOSEC in making decisions that affect sports as per its mandate.

The team was assembled last year to advise NACOSEC and make recommendations on issues that affect sports.

But according to team spokesperson, Teboho Rakhomo, their chairperson has never called for a single meeting by NACOSEC in making decisions affecting sports.

This because the Sports ministry never submitted Mashale's name as the sports representative at NACOSEC, according to Rakhomo.

The team is particularly miffed that Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro on Sunday announced that sports would remain suspended even when the country has moved from the orange to purple Covid-19 alert stage.

"NACOSEC continues to make decisions that affect sports without consulting with the people in sports and we find that absurd," Rakhomo said on Monday.

"We have a team here which was assembled to help NACOSEC with recommendations but unfortunately, our chair has never been called for any of their meetings."

Rakhomo said they were shocked to learn that NOCOSEC does not recognise them when they made enquiries.

"We recently found out that the ministry has never submitted our chair's name to NACOSEC to inform them that she would be representing the sports sector in its sittings.

"We met with the NACOSEC stakeholder manager and she said she didn't know about our existence. We intend to meet her again next week."

She said they were shocked that Sports minister Likeleli Tampane had not communicated with NACOSE when she was the one who requested for the sports sector to second a person to represent it in NACOSEC deliberations.

"Tampane was the one who asked us to submit a name of someone who can represent at NACOSEC but it looks like that information never reached NACOSEC.

"I don't think NACOSEC is to blame. Our ministry is letting us down and had we not taken this matter upon ourselves, we would still be in the dark. We will be meeting the minster this week to register our displeare."

For her part, Tampane rubbished Rakhomo's claims.

"I only heard yesterday (Tuesday) that she (Mashale) has not been recognised by NACOSEC but I personally wrote a letter for her informing NACOSEC that she would be representing sports.

"What ntate Rakhomo is saying are pure lies. We don't have that letter here as it was given to Mashale to submit it to NACOSEC herself."

Tampane said she has already tasked the principal secretary in her ministry 'Mamoeketsi Ntho to write another letter which will be copied to also the Minister of Health Semano Sekatle.

"Both the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and the LSRC know that Mashale is their representative at NACOSEC but I have already tasked the principal secretary to draft another letter and this time around it will be copied to the Minister of Health," Tampane said.

The task team is made up of LNOC spokesperson Moshoeshoe Molapo, LSRC commissioner Litšitso Motšeremeli, LNOC high-performance coordinator Likeleko Lepitla, LSRC chief executive officer Teboho Malataliana, legal advisor at the Sports ministry Likeleli Matubatuba, boxing national team coach Sebusiso Keketsi, athletes representative in the LNOC Moholo Lekomola, Dr Makhetha Mosotho, Mashale and Rakhomo.

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