The BFA is effectively like a rabbit caught in the headlamps. It has received a letter, signed by BNSC acting chief executive officer Thato Kgosimore, probing alleged financial irregularities.
“Reference is made to the submission of the reconciliation for the contingency of the Guinea-Bissau game,” the letter reads.
“Having closely looked at the reconciliation, it does not meet the required the standards and narration does not add up. Be also informed that in the event that sourced documents are not provided for the money dispensed, the accounting officer will be required to return the money in full.”
In the letter, Kgosimore noted that the correspondence has been copied to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture as the trip was funded through the support of the government.
When the Zebras left for Guinea-Bissau, it is reported that they were given $10,000 as a contingency fund.
It is understood that the BNSC was forced to write the letter after they received a claim from the head of the delegation, Tariq Babitseng, who wanted to be reimbursed $300 as over expenditure from the trip. BNSC rejected the claim, alleging that it does not meet the required standard and narrations.
Sources further revealed that after the letter from BNSC, the newly-appointed BFA Vice President Finance, Marshlow Motlogelwa, undertook a comprehensive review of the reconciliation provided against the invoices and receipts. It is said that he made certain observations to BFA president Tebogo Sebego and Legal Advisor Doctor Pusoentsi.
“The invoice used for paying accommodation of officials’ additional rooms amounting to an equivalent of P64, 679, 17 appears to be a Proforma invoice, in addition it includes FF400, 000 which appears to be money exchanged over the counter of the reception desk. It also includes some restaurant expenses amounting to FF525, 000 with no supporting till slips to validate the same,” reads the document leaked to this publication.┬á
While in West Africa, the Zebras were accommodated at Malaika Hotel where it is alleged some of the receipts were duplicated, something which did not go down well with BNSC.
Sources said the matter has caused tension in the executive as they want the matter to be attended to before the Council takes action.
It is said that Babitseng is aware that he has messed up and he was running against time on Friday to come clean.
Legal advisor Pusoentsi is said to have advised that action be taken because this is a prima facie against head of the delegation.
According to Clause 2.20 of the Code of Conduct for Officials, whoever is cited in the misuse of funds is liable to disciplinary action.
“This is a matter which is going to test Sebego’s leadership skills again. He is close to Babitseng and there is no doubt that he’s going to do everything in his power to defend him. I don’t think it is a case which can be easily put under the mat,” said a source.
Babitseng laughed off the allegations that he has messed up with fake receipts.
He said that all he knows is that he borrowed the association $300 and it was within his rights to demand it upon return.
“I’m not accountable to the money; it is the team which was using the funds. Everything is accounted for and I don’t think this is an issue because the CEO (Keith Masters) is on top of the matter. If there was any problem, I think Masters would have called me,” said Babitseng, who is also Vice President Administration.
When approached for comment on Friday afternoon, Sebego said that they are still treating the matter internally.
“My finance people are still working on the matter and I can only come into it when there is no resolution. This is not the first matter to come before us when the team returns home. Unless you’ve been to these trips you won’t know what happens in Africa. At times it is difficult to get receipts after buying something and I think people like to comment out of darkness,” said Sebego.
The BFA boss added that people like to run into conclusions and pass judgement. “I’m only going to act after receiving something tangible,” he said.