The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and the Namibia National Olympics Committee (NNOC) yesterday jointly resolved to forcefully cease the powers and privileges of the Namibia Gymnastics Federation (NGF) executive board, and placed the embattled federation under a special regime for the next four months.
The wholesale ceasing of powers of the executive board members of NGF came into effect yesterday and a new three-member interim committee was installed to temporarily take over the daily running and management of NGF.
The new three-member NGF interim committee members are Eliphas Shipanga (chairperson), Vivienne Katjiuongua and Lesley Vermeulen from the Athletes Commission. Their task will be to return normalcy to the affairs of NGF.
The interim committee members will be assisted by NSC’s Chalo Chainda and NNOC’s Marja Woortman in running the NGF for the next four months.
For the better part of this year, the NGF has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, ranging from irreconcilable infighting among the leadership, maladministration and misappropriation of NGF property and funds.
Top of the agenda for the newly-installed interim committee will be to investigate various claims and allegations made by the NGF executive board members against each other, and to ensure inclusive and transparent processes for the review of the NGF constitution and governance framework.
The interim committee will also establish technical and working committees to assist in the execution of their mandate to restore normalcy at NGF, while a forensic audit will be carried out at the federation to iron out all existing allegations.
Both the NSC and NNOC acted within the provisions of Article 28c of the Namibia Sport Act, which empowers them to take such measures against federations and umbrella bodies when circumstances so dictate.
Speaking at yesterday’s press conference in the capital, NSC vice-chairperson Alna Similo said the two bodies were left with no choice but to take drastic measures against the federation for the sake and greater good of the gymnastics fraternity. “The infighting and disputes have halted the development and growth of athletes and this has negatively affected the entire gymnastics fraternity. This behaviour has left the NSC and NNOC with no choice but to act according to Article 28c of the sport Act. Subject to subsection (3), the Commission may strike off the register the name of a national sports body or national umbrella sports body, if the commission is satisfied. The NSC and the NNOC with the support of the sports ministry have made several attempts to resolve the dispute in an amicable way and in the interest of the gymnastics community but all efforts seemed to have been in vain. All clubs and stakeholders of NGF are requested to contact and communicate with members of the interim committee concerning all gymnastics-related matters,” she said.