South African forensic audit firm, ADM Financial Forensic Services will be put on the witness box to defend its report and findings on the ‘review of accounting procedures, records and reporting’ of the Botswana Premier League (BPL).
This follows a successful court application by former Botswana Premier League (BPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi to add the audit firm as one of the respondents in a case in which he is accusing the Botswana Football Association (BFA) of unfair dismissal.
ADM now joins the BFA and former BFA interim CEO Susan Lawrence as the third respondent in the matter.
Mamelodi was dismissed from office following an investigation by the firm, which claimed to have found some irregularities in the BPL accounting procedures and accused the former BPL CEO of contributing to the dire financial status of the BPL.
Following the release of the report, the former BPL CEO, who was at the time serving a suspension pending the outcome of the investigation, was then called for a disciplinary hearing ‘based on the findings of the forensic audit report.’
Mamelodi then approached the courts with an application ‘to declare that the forensic audit is unlawful and accordingly invalid.’
However, following his dismissal from office, Mamelodi is now challenging his dismissal as well as the legality of the said audit report.
The court order that ADM be cited as a third respondent has torpedoed BFA’s attempts to keep the South African audit firm away from the witness box.
In their argument, the BFA had argued “that the application is fatally defective for failure to cite as a party to proceedings the entity whose report is sought to be set aside.”
Reacting to the BFA defense for ADM not to be cited as a respondent, Mamelodi, through his attorney Dutch Leburu, argued that it was necessary to join the forensic auditors as ‘it has a direct and substantial interest in the matter in so far as it is the author of the report sought to be impugned.’
According to Mamelodi, as authors of the report, ADM has to answer for ‘the disputed findings of the report and also to protect the credibility of their findings.’
“In the circumstances it is necessary that ADM Financial Forensic Services be joined as a party in these proceedings in order to protect whatever proprietary interest it has in the claim as set out in the pleadings as filed,” Mamelodi through his lawyers.
Mamelodi, through his legal team, also wants ADM Forensics to go under oath and tell the court who engaged them or took the decision for BFA to appoint them.
They also want to know who paid for the report as there are allegations that they were paid for by a third party and not the BFA. ADM is also expected to explain the mandate of scope of work of what they wanted to achieve.
Mamelodi also wants ADM to explain why he as the person under investigations was not interviewed during their investigations.
In their findings, ADM accuses the former BPL CEO of having contravened BFA rules by unlawfully authorizing transactions when he does not have that authority.
In his own defence, Mamelodi however contends that transactions were authorized by the BPL Board through its then chairperson, Walter Kgabung.