Monday, December 11, 2023

D-Day beckons for Mamelodi versus BFA saga

High Court Judge Justice Godfrey Radijeng will this coming Thursday (September 6) deliver judgment on the long running feud between former Botswana Premier League (BPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi and the Botswana Football Association (BFA).

The BFA and Mamelodi have been on each other’s throats since the latter was suspended and eventually fired by the association for alleged maladministration and misuse of funds at the BPL.

Mamelodi was suspended by the BFA to allow for a forensic audit of the BPL and was later unceremoniously fired following the release of the said forensic audit report by the now controversial South African audit firm ADM Forensic Financial Services.

In the aftermath of his suspension and eventual firing, Mamelodi approached the court seeking an order to set aside the forensic audit report arguing it was done in bad faith and that its findings are defamatory and meant to tarnish his name.

Mamelodi through his lawyer Dutch Leburu of Monthe Marumo law firm is of the belief that the report was bogus and could not be relied upon. He said the finding of the report was based on the Botswana Football Association (BFA) financial manual that does not exist.

His argument was corroborated by evidence from the former BFA Chief Executive officer, Kitso Kemoeng who had deposed an affidavit supporting Leburu’s argument that the BFA financial policy manual does not exist.

The former BPL CEO also cast aspersions at the BFA hired audit firm ADM Forensic and Financial Services, which he believes is a nonexistent company which is also not registered with any auditing regulatory body in its native South Africa.

Through his lawyers, Mamelodi has also always questioned why the BFA was quick to fire him based on a report which the association had not adopted.

On the other hand, the BFA holds a different view and does not see anything wrong with the report and its findings.

Through their legal representative Joseph Akoonyatse, the BFA argued that Mamelodi is content that financial audit report has not been adopted by the BFA assembly and cannot be used against him.

Both sides however concede that the financial report was never adopted by the BFA assembly. With this on mind, the association is therefore of the view that if it has not adopted it does not exist.

Mamelodi on the other hand feels that the usage of the report in his planned disciplinary hearings was unlawful.

The former BPL CEO is of the view that as the act of criminality that the report alleges was used as the basis to charge him was done through a report which has not been adopted, it should be set aside.

“The matter cannot be moot, integrity and credibility of Mamelodi is dented and there is a dark cloud hovering on his head.  The report will be used 100 years to come if not set aside. Neither the report nor the actions of the BFA against Mamelodi can be ignored,” Leburu said.

The judgment by Justice Radijeng is expected to have a large bearing on which path both parties will take going forward.


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