Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Athletics legal storm erupts as affiliates sue BAA

The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) is embroiled in a legal tussle with some of its affiliates, who have dragged the athletics mother body to court challenging the legitimacy of the 2015 elective annual general meeting (AGM).

Two BAA affiliates, Orapa and New Vision Athletics Clubs last week confirmed to Sunday Standard that they have served the Association with court papers to kickstart a litigation process related to the 2015 AGM. While he could not divulge further details as the matter is already before the courts, Kenneth Kikwe of Orapa Athletics Club confirmed that they are challenging the legitimacy of the 2015 BAA AGM through their legal representatives; Ajayi legal Chambers. Reached for comment, Leatile Sengwatse of Ajayi Legal Chambers confirmed that they are handling the matter, but refused to be drawn into divulging further details. However, sources from within the Association have also confirmed that Orapa and New Vision are questioning the legality of the current BAA executive committee. 

“Both clubs believe there were irregularities in the voting process as some clubs that were banned from BAA at the time were allowed to vote. They believe that banned clubs should not have participated in the AGM,” said the sources.

It has emerged that at least seven BAA affiliates who were at the time on suspension for failing to pay their annual subscription fees were allowed to vote at the 2015 AGM. The BAA also stands accused of ignoring concerns raised by the clubs and refusing to grant them an audience.

“The clubs decided to go to court because the executive committee refused to listen to them.  This case is already before the courts and the parties have already appeared twice.  The matter has since been moved to April 28th to allow the BAA to prepare an answering affidavit,” the sources revealed. 

Reached for comment, BAA President Moses Bantsi confirmed that the association is facing a legal suit from two of its affiliates.

“I understand the two clubs are challenging the legitimacy of the current executive, saying it came into office through a flawed electoral process. Apparently they contend that there were irregularities during elections as suspended clubs were allowed to participate and vote,” he said.

However, Bantsi said the committee that was elected during the said 2015 AGM had nothing to do with how the elections were conducted. He reminded the aggrieved clubs that the BAA was in turmoil at the time of the elective AGM; and the elections were conducted under the auspices of the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC).

“At the time, the BNSC made it clear that all affiliates were eligible to vote, which explains why the suspended clubs voted. That decision was not taken by the current committee,” said Bantsi. The BAA is represented by Reuben Lekorwe in the case.



Read this week's paper