Friday, October 23, 2020

BFA, Fresh Brands legally entangled over Orange FA Cup

Despite the non-football activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Botswana Football Association (BFA) continues to dominate headlines in sport sections.

On Thursday, Fresh Brands a marketing agency company dragged BFA before the High court for un fulfilled promises.

The company is seeking P1.2 million as a commission for negotiating ORANGE FA cup sponsorship.

Company owner, Ben Tobetsa said they have dragged local football body before the courts to seek justice and solution. 

“BFA contracted us (Fresh Brands) to assist in PR, event management, sponsorship negotiations and marketing and the contract was entered into in mid 2017” explained Tobetsa.

He said the negotiated the Orange FA sponsorship and Choppies sponsorships which they became fruitful.  According to Tobetsa his company was entitled to 10% of commission in every deal they negotiated.

“we have approached the courts of law because the BFA failed to pay us the commission despite numerous promises by BFA leadership including president Maclean Letshwiti and his vice president Pelotshweu Motlogelwa,” he says.

“We negotiated the sponsorship with ORANGE Botswana and came up with plan and other modalities of the sponsorship which in included operations and prizes monies” Tobetsa explains. 

Though the BFA failed in their contractual obligations to pay the company P20 000 retainer fee for PR which they were also doing they ended up terminating the PR contract because BFA was failing to pay on time as per the contractual agreement.

“The agreed to terminate the contract but to continue with sponsorship negotiations,” he adds.

“Orange Botswana and BFA when ever they seek clarity on issues proposed they will engage Fresh Brands to assist. And the relationship has been cordial with no signs of bad blood between the BFA and the us. We only learnt through the media that the BFA is about to launch the ORANGE sponsorship without our knowledge” a disappointed Tobetsa says.

He further explains that “the negotiations were at the final stages and BFA was to sign the contract and together we launch the FA cup which has been away for almost ten years.’ 

“We got shocked when the launch was done without our knowledge despite being part of the negotiations.”

He says Letshwiti and Motlogelwa were also cooperating with Fresh Brands during the negotiations.

“The negotiations were advanced and BFA was to sign contract so that we plan for the launch. When we enquired, we did not get any convincing answers as to why we were not invited nor made part of the organizers of the launch as per the agreement.”

Both Letshwiti and Motlogelwa according to Tobetsa promised to pay them despite bypassing them during the last stages of the negotiations.

“When we engaged with them in numerous, both Letshwiti and Motlogelwa assured us that they will pay,” he says.

“They later said the P1.2 million due to is too much and we came down until we agreed they pay P600 000, but BFA still said it is too much,” he adds.

“Surprisingly, BFA was not proposing any figure during our many meetings hence we ended up approaching the high court for redress,” Tobetsa says when explaining why they took the court route. 

Tobetsa’s sentiments were echoed by his former Business Director at Fresh Brands, Thebe Mogapi, who says the BFA ditched them after they did everything for them.

He says though the BFA later terminated the contract because they could not pay the retainer fees, they still continued to engage the agency.

“We were working with Tumo Mpatane and Fobby Radipotsane who were on the side of the BFA.  Whenever BFA or ORANGE Botswana sought clarity or further documentation, they always consulted us for guidance. This showed that we still had obligation to fulfil with BFA,” Mogapi says. 

Like Tobetsa, Mogapi says he was surprised that when the deal was eventually signed, they were not consulted despite the work they have done to catch the sponsor. 

On Thursday Motlogelwa and Letshwiti failed to appear before court as the BFA witnesses.

Former ORANGE Botswana employee Mosarwa Molema who was head of Negotiations is witness to Tobetsa’s company.

Fresh brands is basing on the legal route for their dues to be honoured. The case is before justice Komboni.

when reached for comment, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane referred the matter to BFA CEO, Mfolo Mfolo whose phone rang unanswered.

Mcbain attorneys is representing Fresh brands while BFA is represented by Akoonyatse in the matter.

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