Namibia Swimming Federation under fire

The Namibia Swimming Federation (Nasfed) has come under fire from some of its members following a barrage of accusations that were levelled against the organisation and its president, Aileen Botha, at a recent meeting in Windhoek.

The members are accusing the organisation, under the leadership of Botha, of employing underhand tactics to deny opportunities to some talented previously disadvantaged athletes, patronising council members and barring council members from attending an Executive Committee meeting, thereby violating the Nasfed constitution.

The accusations are contained in several letters in Nampa’s possession, which detail a list of alleged transgressions by the federation.

In one such letter, Nasfed is accused of withholding the records, personal best times and International Swimming Federation (FINA) points of some swimmers to prevent them from attending international competitions under the pretext of them not having qualified for these events.

Another letter details how the president and secretary general of the federation ‘rudely accosted’ five council members and refused them entry into a boardroom during an Exco meeting in August.

The letter quotes the Nasfed constitution as saying “the affairs of the Union shall be conducted by the Council, which consists of the Executive Committee (as outlined in Clause 8b) and two delegates from each affiliated club.”

In her capacity, Botha is further accused of having directed some competition officials to delete a disqualification result of her daughter after she was disqualified for having infringed the competition rules during a tournament.

Various sources said an e-mail (which is in Nampa’s possession) was sent by Botha, requesting that the disqualification of her daughter be erased from the results.

Things are so bad that the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service and the Namibia National Olympics Committee (NNOC) on Tuesday sent a delegation to meet with the beleaguered federation to try and find amicable solutions to the issues engulfing the swimming body.

Director of Sports Jo-Anne Manuel and NNOC president Abner Xougab both confirmed attending the meeting, saying their organisations attended the event as observers and referred Nampa to Nasfed.

The meeting was called after the Nasfed Executive Committee rejected a request to call an urgent meeting where a vote of no confidence motion against Botha and her Executive Committee was to be tabled by Swimming Council Members led by the clubs.

When contacted for comment, Botha refused to respond to questions posed to her, saying she is working with the Ministry of Sport to sort out the issues, and added that the sources providing Nampa with information are out of order.

She referred Nampa to Nasfed Public Relations Officer Carol-Ann Esterhuizen, who said she had attended the meeting via Zoom and had missed the first part.

“We are waiting for the minutes of the meeting, the Exco will then discuss them and make recommendations before we make comments,” Esterhuizen said.

Nasfed has given themselves up to 30 October to solve these issues.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency