Saturday, May 28, 2022

‘Letshwiti forced my hand to terminate Phuthego’

It is safe to say there is no love lost between Botswana Football Association (BFA) president Maclean Letshwiti and the association’s immediate past Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Goabaone Taylor.

This past week, the BFA president reported the former CEO to the police for refusing to return the BFA vehicle. Now, details are emerging from the recent disciplinary hearing that the deposed CEO viewed Letshwiti as someone who imposed his will on association employees to get his way.

In her statement before the BFA Disciplinary Committee instituted to look into charges against her, Taylor made some damning allegations against his superior at BFA.

Making her case before the DC, the former CEO said the BFA president was used to coercing association employees to do what he wanted done, even if it is against their will.

Among these, she said the BFA president had forced her to terminate BFA Competitions Manager Setete Phuthego. “… the BFA President had forced my hand to terminate the contract of the Competitions Manager Mr. Setete Phuthego whose services ended on the 30th November, 2021, some four days before the staging of these Orange FA semifinal games,” she informed the committee.

Answering to charges of bringing the association into disrepute, in which it was alleged that she had come to an Orange FA Cup semifinal match drunk, Taylor said Letshwiti had forced witnesses to come forward.

“I am concerned about the credibility of the witnesses to this case or those who reported this matter especially that I had asked if they had been forced or victimised into being witnesses and being identified as the reporters of the incident.”

To drive her point home, Taylor proceeded to read to the DC a WhatsApp message she alleged to have received on her mobile number from Gale, her Personal Assistant ‘on the 26/01/22, at 1145 am.’

In the message which was read to the hearing team, Taylor alleged that ‘Gale told her that she was forced to come and testify against her by the president.’ She alleged the BFA Legal advisor had recused Gale from being a witness, ‘but the President phoned on the 26/01/22 and asked Gale to attend the case as witness against the respondent.’

“Tsholo was also forced to be a witness. This is the reason why I don’t trust Gale as a witness because she had told me she was forced to do it against her will,” Taylor told the hearing team.

“This was not the first time that the president had forced a hand of my subordinates. Another incident was that which concerned the former legal Officer Mr. Pako Moakofhi, who was forced to change a sensitive decision that affected one of the football clubs (Matebele Blackpool football club).”

“The macer for this team was to do with the change of status of society versus company formation in line with the football transformation process. We had sought the opinion of the legal advisor on the matter and Pako had been advised accordingly in the case, but what finally was the decision was not what Pako had been advised to implement.”

“I later sent out an email asking why Pako had diverted from the initial position that he had been advised on. Pako informed me that on 02/08/2021, the President gave a directive and asked Pako to take it as is .The president said whoever who wanted to appeal his decision can go to court,” Taylor said in her defence.

“The president arrived at the BFA for a meeting and he wanted to know why it had taken long without progression in the Matebele football team situation. I gave him the reasons why there was a delay and one reason was the decision which he changed. I gave him this feedback in the presence of Pako and Mmui.”

“With this brief summary, I am certain that witnesses to count 3 were rather told to stand as the ones that reported the allegation and forced or victimised to stand as witnesses against me,” she alleged.

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