Windhoek – President of the Namibia Boxing Federation (NBF) and one of the nine newly-appointed commissioners of the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC), Benjamin Rabang, says he has no intention of stepping down as head of NBF and will continue serving in both positions despite a clear conflict of interest.
In an interview with New Era Weekend Sport, Rabang – who took over the reins at NBF late last year and was this year appointed as a commissioner, yesterday made it vividly clear that he has no plans of relinquishing either positions despite the National Sport Act of 2003 being quite clear on the terms and conditions of holding the position of a commissioner.
Section 26 of the National Sport Act of 2003 reads, “A person may not hold office as a member of the executive organ on more than one national sport body or national umbrella sport body”.
As clearly stipulated in the Sport Act, Rabang is evidently violating and undermining Section 26 of the Act by holding both positions; that of President of NBF and also being a commissioner at the same time.
“I have no plans of letting go of my position in boxing and I will also continue being a commissioner. I see no conflict of interest here because I’m a professional and will know how to act when faced with both responsibilities. I really have not yet done much for boxing, so it will be very unfair for me to just step down and just be a commissioner, thus I will serve in both capacities,” said an unfazed but somewhat unacquainted Rabang.
However, other commissioners who were appointed with Rabang, such as new NSC chairperson Joel Matheus (volleyball) and Monica Shapwa (football), among others, have already resigned from their previous positions to avoid a conflict of interest.
A veteran sport administrator, who refused to be named for fear of victimisation due to his position at the NSC, was puzzled by Rabang’s refusal to relinquish one position, assuming that the boxing administrator does not understand his new role and the Sport Act in general.
“For someone like Rabang, who has been in sport for so long, I’m really surprised to hear that he is refusing to let go of his boxing position. Either he does not understand his new role or otherwise he is not well accustomed with the law governing the terms of being a commissioner. He must just resign as president or otherwise step down as a commissioner, that’s it!” said the administrator.
“I mean, as a commissioner one is expected to take crucial decisions within the best interest of sport. So, how will he be fair towards boxing and equally serve the NSC?” he further queried.
Other new commissioners include Erica Beukes, who is representing the Namibia School Sport Union (NSSU), Rudolph Haingura from the Tertiary Institutes Sport Association of Namibia, Peter Wilson from Disability Sport of Namibia, Adelheid Jacobs, from the Namibian Women in Sport Association (Nawisa), Monica Shapwa, from the Namibia Football Association (NFA), Jesse Schickerling from the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) and Thomas Mbeeli from the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU).