Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Maybe court will lift BFA’s silk of secrecy

After a long battle to try and get the Botswana Premier League forensic audit report debated in the open court, former BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi, may finally get his wish.

This past Tuesday (May 2), Mamelodi served the Botswana Football Association (BFA) with court papers showing his intentions to challenge the report.

The court papers are said to have been received and signed for by the Personal Assistant to the BFA CEO at around 4pm on the said Tuesday.

According to the court papers, which were passed to Sunday Standard, Mamelodi wants to know why some people involved in authorising the transactions in question were not called to offer explanation.

The fired BPL CEO, who has always maintained he did not unilaterally sanction transactions, wants to know why the then BPL Board Chairman was not called to give clarity on transactions despite being a signatory to such.

Mamelodi also seeks to know why he was never given access to the evidence of the people who testified against him during the audit.

His other lamentation is that at no time during the said forensic audit was he given “an opportunity to clarify or respond and challenge any evidence related to him either directly or indirectly”.

In his papers, Mamelodi contends that the audit report makes serious allegations of fraud and criminal activity, thus portraying him as an “unreliable and dishonest individual”.

The former BPL CEO believes that he should have been afforded an opportunity to deal with the allegations.

Mamelodi is also contending the validity of the documents used for the review. According to the report, a review was undertaken to find whether there was “a confirmation that all transactions were executed in accordance with the BFA Financial Regulations and Procedures Manual published in September 2014”. The review was also set to “verify that the Financial Authority Limits have been adhered to”.

In his papers, he argues that the BFA Financial Regulations and Procedures Manual cannot be binding as it was never adopted.

He says that as far as he knows, the said documents were supposed to be finalised by the then former BFA president (Tebogo Sebego) but he had not yet finished doing that when he left the employ of the football body in November last year.

Mamelodi is also of the view that the said BFA Financial Regulations and Procedures Manual would never apply to the BPL as it has its own financial procedures and manual.

On other points of argument, Mamelodi is also dismissing the audit report that he had sourced some services or goods from suppliers without seeking quotations.

According to sources close to the proceedings, in his defence, the former BPL CEO will depend on a cast of star witnesses.

It is rumoured that he is likely to call former BPL Board chairperson Walter Kgabung, his then deputy Solomon Mantswe as well as the former BFA CEO Kitso Kemoeng as his main witnesses.

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