Sehlabaka faces 10-year ban

Sehlabaka faces 10-year ban

Maseru – Lichocha Shooting Rifles president and head coach Bokang Sehlabaka faces a ten-year ban from basketball after recommendations by the Lesotho Basketball Ethics Committee. Last month Sehlabaka pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud.

The charges included revelations he embezzled Lichocha funds totalling close to M5 900, M1 100 of which was for the club’s 2016/17 season registration fee while M4 800 was from their winnings at the Sprite Summer Slam Basketball Tournament last December.
Sehlabaka was also accused of using his role as team president to unlawfully receive and spend the club’s money.

After weeks of waiting, the Ethics Committee on Wednesday submitted a report to its mother body, the Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA).
In it the damning report labels Sehlabaka “a risk to the image and future of basketball” and it says no exceptions can be made when giving out his punishment.

The report, which thepost has seen, describes Sehlabaka as a person “who has a permanently damaged backbone” and is unable “to exercise the reasoning necessary to pursue the aspirations of ethical uprightness”.
The committee says the evidence presented before it during its investigations into Sehlabaka shows a “decapitated leader” with eroded principles and that “his facts fall short of half of what would be expected to meet the high bar of good ethical conduct”.
Sehlabaka appeared before the LBA Ethics Committee in August and pleaded guilty to the misuse of Lichocha funds and illegal use of the name ‘Lichocha’.

The charge of the illegal use of ‘Lichocha’ relates to an on-going dispute between Sehlabaka and former comrade Phakoa Moiloa over the name. The report says Sehlabaka registered the name ‘Lichocha Shooting Rifles’ without Moiloa and LBA’s knowledge or consent.
He is also accused of using the club’s prize monies for his own benefit, a charge he admitted but failed to pay the money back.
In its conclusion the Ethics Committee recommends a number of measures against Sehlabaka which include being banned from all basketball activities for 10 years.

“(We recommend) that he be banished from the association of basketball for a period of ten seasons, (and) that he be blacklisted on all databases to safe guard the image of the association,” the judgement said.
“All records of him in the association (must) be removed from public domain and be filed in a confidential file which shall be restored only by approval of a reinstatement committee. (We recommend) that his licenses or any legal rights authorising documents be cancelled from the file of the association,” the Ethics Committee continues.

The report also says Sehlabaka acted unethically by having ownership of Lichocha Shooting Rifles and it requests the LBA to allocate the club to Moiloa. Lastly, the Ethics Committee says the 2015 Coach of the Year award winner can only be accepted back into basketball after a reinstatement committee finds him worthy of “ethical re-growth after the elapse of the time in the sentence”.

On Wednesday, LBA secretary general Palo Mohlotsane confirmed the association’s executive committee has received the report but said it is yet to study its contents and recommendations. “(The Ethics Committee) have submitted their report but we are yet to meet and discuss and make a decision,” he said. “The Ethics Committee does not have a final say. We will look at their recommendations and decide.”

Luciah Phahla

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