Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Not yet Uhuru for BFA as Mamelodi vows to fight on

Former Botswana Premier League Chief Executive Officer (BPL CEO) Bennett Mamelodi has vowed to go back to the trenches and wage a fierce legal battle against the Botswana Football Association (BFA).

Speaking through his attorney Dutch Leburu in the aftermath of losing his case against the BFA, Mamelodi said he will not let up until justice is served.

The former BPL CEO had approached the courts seeking them to set aside the ADM Financial Forensic Services audit report that found him guilty of maladministration at the BPL Secretariat.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Godfrey Radijeng had said given that Mamelodi’s employment had been terminated by the BFA ‘places the orders he sought moot as they had been overtaken by events.’

“The termination of the applicant by the 1st respondent has in my view killed the charges that were laid, in fact no disciplinary hearing can be held in the circumstances and this in my assessment places the declaratory orders sought outside the class of live controversy which should exist for this court to avoid giving advisory opinion on abstract propositions,” Justice Radijeng said.

Justice Radijeng further said Mamelodi had ‘not placed sufficient basis for the finding of the forensic audit report to be unlawful, except in the context of the stated fact that it was not adopted by the BFA Executive Committee or General Assembly.’   

“We have decided to appeal as our view is that there are certain issues that the judge did not properly consider,” Leburu said in an interview.

Commenting on the judgment, Leburu said the judgment failed to address many issues. He said in determining that the orders sought by Mamelodi were moot, the Judge did not seem to consider how the existence of the ADM Forensic report would affect the complainant.

“In this case one of our complain is that Mamelodi has an international reputation that international reputation is going to be affected by the findings of the forensic report and that issue cannot be moot,” Leburu said.

“The forensic audit report has damaging findings against my client. His integrity it is at stake. He is a high profile person whose integrity if dented will be difficult to get employment anywhere in future,” he opined.

Leburu further said they cannot agree with the judgment because ‘they are talking about the professional integrity of someone,’ adding that ‘FIFA can use that report as the basis of disqualifying him or withdrawing his accreditation and the orders sought by his client could therefore not be moot.’

He further observed that any employer who is in possession of the report cannot employ Mamelodi on the basis that there are accusations of possible fraud and possible financial mismanagement against him, saying this ‘could affect his future going forward so that cannot be moot because it is a life issue.’

“Even if we speak now absent of a challenge or setting aside that report on what basis will he say the findings are wrong? The BFA did not afford him the opportunity to challenge it at the time he was suppose to challenge it he was dismissed and not again on the basis of the report but on something else. At all levels this question cannot be moot. On that basis we take the view that it is matter that we should take on appeal and we should be filing the appeal in the cause of next week,” Leburu concluded.


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