By Carlos Kambaekwa
Just as the National Olympic Committee thought it had completed its final list for the 31-member delegation to this year’s Olympics in Beijing, China – trouble is brewing in the corridors of No. 31 Tacoma Street in Suiderhof.
At the centre of the storm is uncertainty over the preferred size of the boxing contingent that has three boxers, one trainer and two officials.
According to reliable sources, the boxers are not entirely happy with the presence of two officials accompanying them to China, and had tiptoed to the National Sports Commission to raise the issue after their grievances with the National Boxing Federation had apparently fell on deaf ears.
The trio of Mejandjae Kasuto, Japhet Uutoni and Julius Indongo had ostensibly requested the inclusion of trainer Kennedy Muatara after the outspoken mentor was left out of the initial squad following a fallout with the country’s boxing authorities.
Muatara’s unceremonious axing did not go well with the boxers, including some influential members within the Olympic Committee.
It has since emerged that a high-ranking official within the line ministry ordered the reinstatement of Muatara into the Beijing travelling entourage and requested that one of the two officials Ambrossius Kandjii and Joe Kaperu be offloaded to make space for Muatara.
However, both long serving boxing officials would have none of that and have decided to unpack their bags – leaving the boxing contingent without administrative guidance.
Approached to shed more light on this ugly turn of events, the Chief Administrator of the National Sports Commission Rusten “Zukhile” Mogane says its unfortunate that personal issues are threatening to derail the participation of boxing in the global showpiece.
“We are still in the dark as to what really led to the omission of Muatara from the travellng list submitted by the boxing federation. From what we understand, he was left out for disciplinary reasons triggered by utterances he apparently made towards boxing administrators.”
Mogane added that since there was no charge, nor a disciplinary hearing against Muatara, the commission saw this particular practice as a clear form of victimization.
“After hearing both sides of the story, we resolved to heed the boxers’ call and requested boxing authorities to adjust their list accordingly because we felt the boxers have a legitimate concern. Muatara’s expertise is urgently needed by the boxers who have also requested for the presence of Jacob ‘Mistake’ Gariseb, for his unquestionable tactical acumen.”
Meanwhile, the National Olympic Committee has unleashed a list of 10 athletes and 21 members for the Beijing Olympics, which gets under way within the next seventeen days.
The travelling entourage reads as follows
Pohamba Shifeta – Deputy Minister – Youth, National Service, Sport & Culture
Dr Vetumbuavi Veii – Director of Sport
Stanley Simataa – Chairman – NNSC
Agnes Tjongarero – President – NNOC
Elize Peterson – Board Member – NNOC
Abner Xoaxub – Secretary General NNOC
Joan Smit – Chef de Mission
Donatha Gawanab- Ngunovandu – Medic
Bernard Kaanjuka – General Team Manager
Michael “Mike” Haimbodi.
Gerson “Lucky” Gawanab
Christa ‘Hella” Rust
Patrick de Goede
Johannes “Mannie” Heymans