The Botswana Premier League (BPL) Board has filed an urgent application before court fingering the decision by the Botswana Football Association (BFA) as persecution after reinstating BPL Chief Executive officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi.
This is after the court issued an order confirming that the ruling of May 12, 2016 remains in force until August 23, 2016. The ruling had provided that the respondent, BFA, shall not proceed with disciplinary hearing pending resolution of the urgent application.
The BPL, through their lawyer, Lore Morapedi, has requested the Industrial Court for a date to listen to its application in defence of Mamelodi’s suspension,
‘’We confirm that the BPL has filed an application to be joined in Bennett Mamelodi/ Botswana Football Association case which application was served on both respondents. So far the BFA has not indicated that it shall not oppose the application and the 1st respondent has not filed any papers in opposition. The application for a ‘joinder’ raises issues such as who Mamelodi’s employers are and who has disciplinary powers over him,” a leaked letter to Sunday Standard read.
Arguing the matter of reinstated Mamelodi, the BPL is of a view that the intent of the order was to freeze everything or allow the status quo to remain pending resolution of the urgent application. “The Premier League has since learnt the 1st respondent has been reinstated back to work and has resumed his duties. This despite the fact that the proceedings touching on his employment are currently pending not only before this court, but also pending before the High court,” relays the letter.
Mamelodi had filed an application with the High Court seeking justice after being suspended by the BPL. However, BPL has said despite the fact that proceedings touching on his employment are currently under both courts it is likely to turn events into a contempt of court.
“It is our humble opinion that the reinstatement of Mamelodi pending resolution of the dispute before the Industrial Court is intended to defeat the course of justice and can be viewed as potential contempt of the court. The proper approach to have been adopted by Mamelodi was to either withdraw his application, in which case the orders currently in force will fall away, alternatively wait for the outcome of his application before he could be reinstated back to work,” said BPL.
The BPL revealed that only the respective Court has the right to determine merit behind their argument, not to take steps that seek to undermine court process. “The fact that Mamelodi may no longer be opposed by BFA does not automatically mean that the reliefs he seeks be granted. The reliefs he seeks have far reaching consequences as they bar any disciplinary actions to be taken against him no matter how serious the charges he face are, and notwithstanding the fact that such charges may at the end of the day be proved,” reads the leaked letter.
In conclusion, the BPL says: ‘’We hereby request that you give us a date for argument on our application for ‘joinder’ so that the event such application is granted we can move whatever application”.