NGF's powers seized

The Namibia Gymnastics Federation's has been stripped of its powers and an interim committee has been appointed with immediate effect.

06 August 2020 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI

WINDHOEK



Due to turmoil and divided factions, the Namibia Gymnastics Federation (NGF) has been placed under administration, it was announced yesterday by the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC).

Th vice-chairperson of the NSC, Alna Similo, was joined by NSC chairperson Freddy Mwiya and Abner Xoagub, president of NNOC, when she delivered the speech.

According to her, NGF has been characterised by infighting and disputes that have halted development and growth of athletes and this has negatively affected the entire gymnastics fraternity. She further stated that there have been reports of mismanagement and misappropriation of NGF equipment and funds.

Also, there are court summons against the NGF and some members of its executive board, as well as irreconcilable differences between members and groupings serving on the executive board.

Similo announced that the board has been stripped of its powers with immediate effect and that the federation will be managed by an interim committee consisting of Eliphas Shipanga (chairman), lawyer Vivienne Katjiuongua and Lesley Vermeulen from the Athletes' Commission.

They will be assisted with the day-to-day running of operations and activities by Marja Woortman, board member of NNOC, and Chalo Chainda of NSC.

Their will serve a four-month term subject to extension.

They know the vision

“These are capable gurus,” said Mwiya. He also spoke about the need for transformation in the sport and told Namibian Sun that challenges with NGF started way back in 2006.

This includes the fact that the sport is mostly active in the Khomas Region, while there are capable youngsters in regions such as Omusati.

He further said that they were aware of rumours that the NGF was operated with involvement from certain affluent parents and it could continue as such.

“The interim committee in place represents everyone. They know where we are headed and have the best interest of the athletes at heart as we are building one nation,” Mwiya emphasised.



Audit to be done

Furthermore, NGF will undergo a forensic audit by an independent company. The audit is necessary in light of the various claims and lawsuits.

All clubs and stakeholders are therefore requested to communicate only with members of the interim committee concerning gymnastics matters.

The NNOC will further communicate the necessary information to the International Gymnastics Federation.



Root cause

In 2018 NSC suspended the entire NGF executive committee, who had allegedly breached certain clauses in the National Sports Act and various NSC rules and regulations.

The sports commission then set up an interim committee to handle a special AGM to facilitate the election of a new leadership under a new constitutional framework.

This irked the suspended members further, with the then president Sonja Olivier threatening NSC with civil and criminal action.

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