…suspends acting chief administrator
In what can only be described as another circus at the beleaguered Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB), which has been enveloped in seemingly unending controversy – the trigger happy board has struck again.
This time, the board has suspended Acting Chief Administrator Eckhardt Modise with immediate effect and without pay.
New Era Sports has established that the board advanced no reason for Modise’s suspension, while sending him packing without pay adds salt to the wound.
Most recently, portfolio minister Jerry Ekandjo aided by the permanent secretary stripped the financially ill-disciplined board off any powers to manage the finances of the organisation.
This follows numerous reports pertaining to allegations of financial mismanagement including paying themselves hefty amounts for sitting allowances – an offense for which many would have expected the line minister to take stiffer action.
Ekandjo made it categorically clear that Modise would have sole responsibility for managing all finances.
However, in retaliation, the board wrote a letter to Modise seeking an explanation as to why he sanctioned the MTC Sunshine Tobias boxing bonanza, staged on 1 April 2017.
Subsequently, the board ostensibly also appeared irked by Modise’s presence at the weigh-in ceremony at the event in question.
In his defence Modise, said he alerted the board to the fact that the very same board sanctioned the fight, on which basis it accepted the sanctioning fee.
It has also emerged the board chairman Ellison Hijarunguru and his board felt offended by another action Modise took.
He allowed boxing promoter Anita Tjombe to make use of the boxing control board’s conference room for a press briefing at which she fired a salvo at the embattled board, in particular Hijarunguru.
Strangely, other boxing promoters such as Kinda Nangolo and Salute Boxing have also made use of the facilities without an eyebrow being raised.
“Suspending an official simply for maintaining consistency is totally unbecoming,” charged an irate retired boxer who requested his identity be withheld for fear of reprisals.
In the meantime, New Era Sport has it on good authority that employees at the embattled boxing control board have not received their monthly salaries for the last three months, and have instead received their pay directly from the coffers of the National Sports Commission (NSC).
It’s yet to be established what the charges against the suspended Modise entail and whether the portfolio minister will finally gather enough courage to call the board, which seems to have made it its sole prerogative to transgress its own rules and regulations whenever it feels, to order.
Contacted for comment, boxing board member and spokesperson Ronnie Kurtz partially confirmed Modise’s suspension.
However, he added that since he was not present at the last board meeting when the decision was taken, he was not in a position to shed more light on the reasons why Modise was suspended as he only heard about the decision via a brief phone call.