Wednesday, July 28, 2021

BFA puppets on a string

The rot in the Botswana Football Association (BFA) is set to continue unabated for as a long as a certain businessman (name known to this publication) of foreign origin, who is non-citizen, continues to run football from behind the scenes. 

There are also claims that he uses some of the top association’s officials, whose campaign it is believed he bankrolled on their way to the seats, as pawns to castigate their colleagues and expel them on flimsy, unfounded allegations.

The Premier League has been recently hogging the headlines after a forensic audit was instituted against CEO Bennett Mamelodi, despite two financial reports conducted by two reputable local auditors were passed without blemish. What begs the question is what prompted the forensic audit which basically mean an investigation of misappropriation of sorts. 

The terms of reference were not made public. It remains a mystery of who paid the SA forensic auditors, ADM Financial Forensic Services, who were here for less than a week, given the association’s stated stand that they did not have funds. According to insiders, the same businessman paid for the SA team.

The BFA went on record to say the findings of the forensic audit would be for its eyes only. There are conflicting reports of the findings and without it being made public it is anybody’s guess of who is fooling who.

Meanwhile, Mamelodi remains suspended and has not been accorded the findings and his hand are tied while his Industrial Court case regarding his suspension pends. 

Directors feel that Mamelodi should be reinstated to continue serving the league. On the other hand, there are those that want him fired. But how can that happen without the report finding him guilty? And what is holding the BFA back from releasing it?

According to the BDO audit report for the year ending 3June 30, 2016, the auditor’s opinion absolved the Premier League from any wrong doing. “In our opinion, the annual forensic statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Botswana Premier League as at 30 June 30, 2016, and its financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with international financial reporting standards,” reads the audit report. 

The previous audit report year ending June 30, 2015 was also a clean sheet.

The public is yet to be told what necessitated the forensic audit when the previous audits were clean and did not find any wrongdoing.   

The Premier League assembly in May 2015 made resolution to hold a special meeting every year in October to discuss the audits reports. 

According to some sources close to the BFA NEC, some members of the NEC who were promised to be given the forensic audit report last year (December 17) are reported to be disgruntled that they have not received it. This has prompted insinuations from some quarters that it is being “cooked”.

Others wonder about a forensic audit being held while the local auditors did not find fault with each other.

As the saga unfolds it is up the BFA to come clean and inform the public who are major stakeholders in the game; reinstate Mamelodi or exonerate him or prove his guilt if any.

One the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity accused the BFA president and his two vice presidents for sideling NEC members when they make decisions. “There is no how they can subject Mamelodi to the disciplinary hearing without giving him the audits reports they have because if they claim they have found any wrongdoing against the CEO they must avail them so that he can defend himself. Again any decision that the emergency committee take must be endorsed by the NEC before it is implemented. Mamelodi’s suspension was never endorsed by NEC” said the sources.  It is also alleged that there are some who are of the idea that the CEO’s contract must be terminated. 

Still with the Premier League, corruption busters, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) last week returned the computers and cell phones they confisticated from the office. DCEC spokesperson Phakamile Kraai confirmed the returned of the gadgets. 

“I can confirm that all gadgets have been returned, as they were part of the investigation” he said. The DCEC had confisticated the computers of the Premier League CEO and his Personal Assistant. 

Contacted for comment the BPL acting Chief Executive Officer, Styles Ntshinogang refused to confirm nor deny that the league had received the audits by the SA firm. “That is an internal matter I cannot confirm nor deny we that we have received it,” he said. 

Kraai could not divulge more information because he did not want to jeopardise investigations. 

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