Officials from the Namibia Olympic Committee (NNOC) have reacted angrily to what it termed a gravely misleading report attributed to a local boxing promoter.
NNOC released a statement in which it rubbishes claims by rookie boxing promoter Anita Tjombe. The report claims that detained Namibian amateur boxer Jonas Junias Jonas was about to be released from his house arrest detention in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tjombe made the statement at a press conference at the head office of the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board in Windhoek last week. The report says the troubled boxer, who stands accused of sexual assault, will return to Namibia within a fortnight to be ready for a scheduled bout on October 9. According to the NNOC, Tjombe’s remarks are devoid of any truth, adding that it has taken up the matter with both Jonas and his legal practitioners in Brazil, and both Jonas and the legal practitioners denied having held any discussions with Tjombe or anybody regarding the release of the traumatised Namibian boxer.
“Jonas’ case in Rio, Brazil remains pending and he has committed himself to comply with the laws of that country. The NNOC views these statements as untruthful and in a very serious light.
“Tjombe’s statements are not only irresponsible but may also be highly prejudicial towards the accused, given the sensitive situation in which the boxer finds himself. Both the NNOC and Jonas entirely distance themselves from these untruthful statements.”
The NNOC has on a previous occasion requested the media not to publish any statements about Jonas’ pending case unless such statements are cleared with the Olympic movement.
“At the same time we had also undertaken to provide the media with any valuable information once the current status of Jonas changes. We are disturbed that the press once again saw it fit to publish this irresponsible and unfounded statement without verifying with the NNOC first.
“We once again urge media practitioners to verify any information concerning Jonas first with the NNOC before publishing such damaging articles,” reads the statement signed by the NNOC secretary general Joan Smit.