Gymnastics interim committee takes over

By Michael Uugwanga

THE newly appointed interim committee at the troubled Namibia Gymnastics Federation (NGF) has officially taken over the reins for a period of four months in which they will be required to stabilise the federation following the dismissal of the previous board in August due to infighting amongst members.

The new board comprises of Vivienne Katjiuongua (chairperson), former Namibia Football Association (NFA) secretary-general Eliphas ‘Aupapa’ Shipanga and Lesley Vermeulen of Namibia Bowling Association (NBA).

Katjiuongua who previously served as chairperson of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) said the tasks given to her team are to institute and carry out a forensic audit and obtain all records of the affiliates of NGF which existed at the time the previous committee was in office.

She also told Confidente Sports Desk that the team will be responsible for producing a report of all activities to NSC and to the Namibian National Olympic Committee (NNOC).

“Amongst the tasks from our side is to rectify bank signatories such as obtaining historic bank statements as far back as 2014, obtain information about ongoing legal dispute, attend to registration of new clubs desirous to join, constitutional review, arranging elective annual general assembly, conduct various meetings as part of a fact finding mission, coordinate under the office of the NNOC the day-to-day administration and communication with IGF, UAG and other stakeholders and produce a report to NSC and to NNOC  of all activities during the committee’s mandate and tenure.”

Katjiuongua however said that the interim committee is still waiting for compiled documents and information from both the NSC and the NNOC which will enable the committee to start with its work.

“We (interim committee) will hold our first meeting once we have received the background information and an opportunity to study the information. We have been appointed for a term of four months and there are important dates highlighted which is a compass for when elections should be held. What is important is to do work towards having a leadership structure in time for key events to be hosted by Namibia in February 2021 such as the planned qualifiers to the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan,” she said.

The deposed board was spearheaded by Sonja Olivier who was elected as its president at the elective congress in February 2019 in Karibib, and Neville Andre as vice president, Sharifa Wentworth (vice president – finance), Meagan Bierbach (vice president – public relations) and Wieta Snyman (vice president – liaison) .

Problems amongst the previous exco members started to appear immediately after the elective congress and in November, a faction led by Andre suspended Olivier.

The NSC, in turn, publicly endorsed the Andre-led faction, leading Olivier to declare that she would bring civil and criminal action against those who insisted that she was suspended.

NGF is an affiliate member to the International Gymnastics Federation (IGF) and to African Gymnastics Union (UAG); however the previous board is accused of failing to produce financial reports dating back to 2014.

According to NSC chief administrator Freddy Mwiya several meetings were held to find a solution to the situation but that all came to naught.