League financial report in question, no formal statement yet, says president

A financial report on the money used by the Tonga National Rugby League during the 2013 World Cup  has been questioned by league clubs, it has been revealed.

The president of the Mate Ma’a Tonga, Hon Sēmisi Sika, said he has repeatedly requested a formal report but the league board has done nothing about it.

He said it had been for a long time since the chair of the board e-mailed the committee concerning the financial report, but the board has yet to respond.

He said this did not look good for the national rugby league.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Chair of the Board, Stan Moheloa and former secretary Lōpeti ‘Uhatafe, went with the team to UK during the World Cup.

Responsibilities 

Hon Sika has clarified his role as president and the responsibility of the board which operated the national league.

He said his responsibility was just like an honorary position (“fakalangilangi pe”) and he had the duty of presiding over the league’s Annual General Meeting.

During this year’s AGM Hon Sika postponed the meeting after he found out the financial report had not been audited.

He said it was illegal to report an unaudited financial report in the AGM.

Allegations 

Hon Sika, who has revealed recently that he would not stand for a re-election of the presidency, said his role with the league had been tarnished by a number of allegations and court cases against the league.

In Tongan he said:  “ʻA ia ko e ngāue eni ia ʻa e poaté pea nau toki tukuakiʻi ai e ngaahi meʻa kotoa kiate au koeʻuhí ko ʻeku sea he fakatahá.”

This translates into English as: “So these allegations were caused by the board and they accused me of all these things because I was the chair of the meeting.”

As Kaniva reported in 2016, the Solicitor General sent Moheloa a letter demanding that the TNRL comply with its obligation to tell the government how it had spent the funds given to it for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Legal battles in the supreme Court over the management of the TNRL revealed that hundreds of thousands of pa’anga were unaccounted for, accounts had remained unaudited for years, the constitution had been violated, fraudulent elections held and court orders ignored.

The Solicitor General said the TNRL had failed to meet its commitments despite repeated requests by the Government.

Eventually an audit of the way the government grant had been spent showed that less than half had been spent properly by the TNRL.

For more information

Tonga National Rugby League “dysfunctional for years” says Supreme Court judge

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