Desperate trainer begs for funding but appeal considered 'wrong'

2015-10-01 18:36
Jan Molefe and Mothohedene Moleya and Realeboga Seoposengwe. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Jan Molefe and Mothohedene Moleya and Realeboga Seoposengwe. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - Two boys from Munsieville township on the West Rand are representing Gauteng at the national cross-country championships in East London this week - but getting there may be half the challenge.

While their trainer appealed to his community for assistance at a public meeting on Thursday, the sports department said the boys were registered to a club not aligned to the sports council. As a result, the trainer's appeal for money from his community was "wrong".

On Thursday morning, during a public meeting hosted by Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Jan Molefe stood in front of the stage with two young boys.

"I'm sure many of you are wondering what I am doing with these two children, when they should be in school," he told the packed tent.

"First of all, Munsieville is not short of talent. Today I stand in front of you as Jan Molefe - a centre manager of Readira Youth Development. These two boys you see standing in front of you are going to represent Gauteng and we are leaving today."

‘We are struggling’

The two boys are Mothohedene Moleya, 12, and Realeboga Seoposengwe, 14.

The residents and government officials clapped and cheered and some stood up, whistling as the shy boys stood with Molefe.

As the cheering quietened down, Molefe, who was dressed in a Gauteng West tracksuit, told the audience they had limited funding for the trip to the Eastern Cape.

"But we are struggling, I am unemployed, these children qualified for the nationals on September 19 at the provincial competition in Pretoria South. We slept on empty stomachs. We had to raise something like R10 000 for these kids to go [to East London].

"Look at these kids, the only money they have is to go to East London. I have the papers to prove it. The money only covers the transport fees to East London and back as well as breakfast and lunch, not their dinner."

Sports MEC says Molefe appeal "wrong"

But Molefe's appeal to his community was considered "wrong".

Sports MEC, Molebatsi Bopape, and her officials, present at the event, said they had established that the young boys were part of a club that was not aligned with the Sports Council.

She said Molefe was wrong by asking people to dig into their pockets, because that was not the way things were done.

"We are not a department that has piles of money, and for that man to stand up here and ask us to dig into our pockets [was not right], that is not how we work."

She said the reason why clubs and federations had to be aligned with the Sports Council was so that achievements of youngsters such as Mothohedene and Realeboga could be communicated via the right channels.

"We cannot just give money to federations that are not affiliated to the Sports Council, it becomes very difficult.

"But we are going to take care of these children, we will see how we work around it. We will try to help them as much as we possibly can... because they are already determined, we cannot disappoint them," she said.

An emotional Molefe, who discovered the two, said he was already proud of what they had achieved.

"This is already a huge success for us as an organisation, as a community and for these children... Not anyone can get to where they are. It's a big achievement for us."

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