A video showing Mate Ma’a Tonga  prop Andrew Fifita complaining to Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva about members of the Tonga Rugby League interim board has been released to Kaniva news.

We received two video clips, one running for 1.38 minutes and the other 12 seconds.

The videos came after we reported on Monday night that Fifita had complained to Hon. Pōhiva. The report met with some strong reaction from online users who claimed this was not true.

Jason Taumālolo’s father took to Facebook and denied Taumālolo wasn’t involved in any complaints against the interim board and allegedly signed a letter.

On Monday night Kaniva news published a story reporting on claims made by Television Tonga that a letter of complaint had been submitted. We did not say that Taumālolo signed a letter. We said, Fifita reportedly told the Prime Minister he was complaining on behalf of all the Mate Ma’a Tonga players.  

The videos were taken in a room at Vaiola hospital on Thursday, August 28,  by former board member Matani Nifofā, who recorded the meeting.

In the 1.38 minutes video clip Fifita can be overheard complaining to the Prime Minister about two of the interim board members.

He said he met with local rugby league teams in Tongatapu about their dissatisifaction against the two board members.

“We sat down with the local teams to try and push for an AGM so we can get these two off,” Fifita can be heard as saying in the clip.

Nifofā said before the video was recorded Fifita told Hon. Pōhiva he and the players were unhappy with the interim general secretary, lawyer Williams Clive Edwards Jnr, and interim Chair Siaosi Koloamatangi.

Fifita said they had found out that $55,000 had been withdrawn from a Tonga rugby league bank account in Australia by the board members and they were dissatisfied with how the money was used.

As Kaniva news reported yesterday, the board members said  they used the money from the Australian bank accounts to fund necessary expenses for the Mate Ma’a Tonga team.

It has been claimed that the  money was actually part of a gift from the World Cup for the Mate Ma’a Tonga and was supposed to be paid out to players. The players wanted to keep the money in the bank as security for future games.

The videos showed other former board members sitting on chairs in the room while Fifita was next to the Prime Minister’s bed.

Present in the room were former secretary general Tavake Fangupō, Vilisoni Tu’iniua, who is also a Television Tonga presenter,  a brother of Fifita and the Prime Minister.  

Tu’iniua told Kaniva news he was contacted by Fangupō and asked if he could organis a meeting for the Prime Minister and Fifita.

In one of the videos, Fangupō can be heard telling Hon. Pōhiva Jason Taumālolo was playing last week but he could come to Tonga with the coach if an AGM was called.

The Prime Minister said he was sick, but he would address Fifita’s complaint.

As we reported, the players threatened to pull out from any further involvement with Mate Ma’a Tonga if their complaints were not resolved.

Nifofā said they were at the meeting because Fifita contacted them because he wanted to have a point of contact in Tonga and that was how they joined Fifita when he went to the Prime Minister. He said Fifita also met with the local teams.

The main points

  • A video showing Mate Ma’a Tonga  prop Andrew Fifita complaining to Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva about members of the Tonga Rugby League interim board has been released to Kaniva news.
  • The videos came after we reported on Monday night that Fifita had complained to Hon. Pohiva. The report met with some strong reaction from online users who claimed this was not true.

For more information

Andrew Fifita lodges complaints against interim National League board; players threatened to pull out of Mate Ma’a Tonga

Jason Taumalolo’s father wants to “leave son alone;” complaint letter was unsigned, says Television Tonga

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