Sunday, September 27, 2020

Dutch goes for broke in Mamelodi’s case

Former Botswana Football Association CEO, Kitso Kemoeng has deposed a sworn statement in court that the BFA has no financial policy manual, striking a debilitating body blow to the association in their marathon court battle against former Premier League CEO Bennett Mamelodi.

The long and short of Kemoeng’s affidavit is that the BFA decision to fire Mamelodi was based on a controversial audit report which was informed by a “non-existent financial policy manual.

The legal battle between Mamelodi and the BFA over the audit report by ADM Forensic Financial Services will be determined on the 6th September.

Mamelodi has approached the court seeking an order to set aside the report arguing it was done in bad faith and that its findings are defamatory and tarnish his name.

Mamelodi’s lawyer, Dutch Leburu of Monthe Marumo law firm charged 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.

He pointed out that the former BFA Chief Executive officer, Kitso Kemoeng had deposed an affidavit supporting Leburu’s argument that the BFA financial policy manual does not exist.

Leburu said the former BFA CEO as an authority on the BFA disputed the validity of the document hence it cannot be relied upon.

He said if the financial policy manual existed, either the BFA vice president, Marshlow Motlogelwa, BFA president, Maclean Letshwiti, or Premier league chairperson, Walter Kgabung would have filed an affidavit disputing the affidavit filed by Kemoeng.

Leburu explained that Kgabung had filed affidavit reaffirming that he and not Mamelodi was responsible for authorizing transactions.

Leburu slammed the BFA’s for making slanderous allegations against his client without giving him an opportunity to present his case. “In the interest of natural justice Mamelodi should have been called to answer for allegations raised against him. The BFA cannot form conclusions on its employee without giving the person an opportunity to be heard. There are allegations of criminality against him and he has to be given the right to be heard.

The BFA lawyer Akoonyatse holds a different view and does not see anything wrong with the report and its findings.

“The applicant wants the report to be set aside. It will not serve any purpose to set the report aside because the applicant is no longer the employee of the premier league. It will be inconsequential to either uphold or set ÔÇôaside the report because he is no longer an employee. It won’t serve any purpose” argued Akoonyatse.  The BFA terminated Mamelodi’s contract last year while serving suspension.

Akoonyatse argued that the matter has been overtaken by events because his contract has been terminated. “The matter is moot and an internal matter that should have never been brought to courts because the report was marked confidential and addressed to the BFA president” Akoonyatse said.

Though it was marked confidential the report was leaked to the media.

The BFA lawyer further argued that Mamelodi is content that financial audit report has not been adopted by the BFA assembly and cannot be used against him. Both Leburu and Akoonyatse concede that the financial report was never adopted by the BFA assembly. Akoonyatse, however, is of the view that if it has not adopted it does not exist.

Mamelodi’s lawyer, Dutch Leburu when replying Akoonyatse argued that BFA’s points were baseless. “My client, Mamelodi was charged using the same findings of the report that has not been adopted hence we seek the order to set it aside. The act of criminality that the report alleges was used as the basis to charge Mamelodi for wrong doings” Leburu said.

“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.

He argued that if the report it is to stand his client would suffer severe and irreparable reputational damage.

Dutch further argued that the ABM forensic services do not exist because it is not registered with any South African auditing regulatory body. “The naked opportunism that the BFA is embarking on to build a story that does not exist and use the bogus report against my client should not be accepted. We cannot rely on a firm that runs business from a servant’s squatter somewhere in Johannesburg” Leburu said.

Leburu argued that if the report is not side asset it will be a record that will in future be used against Mamelodi.

Mamelodi is a FIFA accredited instructor and the portfolio requires a person with highest ethical conduct, his reputation will be dented if the report is left to stand. The report will be used in many years to come and Mamelodi’s future endeavors will be doomed.

In one of the court earlier case still against BFA, Judge Walia ordered BFA to furnish Mamelodi with documents that he can use to defend himself against accusations he faced. One of the documents that Mamelodi want the BFA to furnish him with was the general ledger in which all information concerning transactions cold be found and the BFA never availed the ledger to him.

Mamelodi was accused of maladministration and abuse of the premier league funds.

Justice Radijeng is expected to deliver the ruling on the 6th September.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.