Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Day of reckoning for Mamelodi

The Botswana Premier league Chief Executive Officer’s (BPL CEO), Bennet Mamelodi, will know his fate tomorrow when the Botswana Football Association National Executive Committee (BFA NEC) makes its final verdict.  

Mamelodi was suspended on allegations of maladministration and was to pave the way for a forensic audit to take place without his interference. 

Reports close to those in the BFA leadership suggest that the forensic audit report is out and the NEC will only peruse it tomorrow and take a position on his future with the elite league. 

The NEC will make a determination either to fire or reinstated him after looking at the recommendations of the report. 

“On Monday (tomorrow) the NEC is expecting the forensic audit report and that is when members will make the final decision whether to reinstate the BPL CEO or fire him,” said source close to the issues. 

“The forensic audit has not found any evidence to back up allegations of financial mismanagement made against Mamelodi. If the BPL was able to deliver unqualified audits on two consecutive years, on what base was the forensic audit instituted,” wondered source.

The BPL audit by BDO, a local auditing company, has also absolved the CEO of any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, the BPL continues to suffer in the absences of Mamelodi. Diminished sponsor confidence is amongst the many issues that have been attributed to his absence.

 All eyes will now be on the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti and his NEC to bring this matter to finality which could have far reaching consequences for the elite football in Botswana.

The sources suggest that the forensic audit did not find anything wrong with Mamelodi. “The report is unqualified,” said the source.  It is also said that some BFA NEC members are of the view that Mamelodi should be reinstated to continue running the league and correct issues of ticketing. 

Mamelodi, who was to appear before the independent disciplinary committee set by the BPL did not, but opted for the legal route. His case is still before the Industrial Court.  Mamelodi snubbed the DC saying he would not get a fair hearing from it. 

Mamelodi was initially suspended on March 26, 2016. He was reinstated by BFA NEC unconditionally in July. 

Letshwiti and his committee upon assuming power, redeployed him but later suspended him for 45 days. The 45 days elapsed again without the conclusion of the forensic audit and his suspension was extended by another 45 days which is to end tomorrow. 

Contacted for comment the BFA acting CEO Susan Lawrence said: “Upon seeing the report we will conclude it. We will tell you how we have concluded it,” Asked what would be the case if the 45 days elapsed without the matter coming to an end, he said: “There are options; we can extend or we can reinstate him. It is an issue between the employer and employee.” 

Premier League matches have been struggling to attract large crowds even to high profile games, the issue said to the change from the pre-printed tickets to Webtickets. 

The accessibility of Webtickets has been a problem with frequent network breakdowns where they are sold, leading to supporters failing to buy. The problem of ticket sales was not there in the previous seasons under Mamelodi. 

Mamelodi’s case before Industrial Court Judge Paper Molomo continues this coming Friday.

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