Saturday, October 16, 2021

‘Dutch courage’ will prevail in Mamelodi’s case

Suspended Botswana Premier League (BPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi’s legal representative, Dutch Leburu, has expressed optimism that they will have the findings of the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Forensic Audit overturned.

This is despite the dismissal of their court bid to have his disciplinary hearing stayed pending the outcome of their court challenge of the findings of the forensic audit.

Following the release of the report, the suspended BPL CEO was called for a disciplinary hearing this past Monday (February 20), “to show course why disciplinary action could not be taken against him.”

However, Leburu then filed an urgent application with the court seeking it to interdict his disciplinary hearing pending the outcome of his challenge of the audit. 

In his affidavit, Mamelodi wanted the court to stop his hearing as he had not been given some documents pertinent to the disciplinary meeting constituted against him.

Mamelodi wanted the BFA to furnish him with, among others, the transcripts of witnesses who testified against him during the forensic investigation as well as complete ledgers of financial transactions at the BPL that were used by the forensic investigators.

Making a ruling on the matter, Gaborone High Court Judge Justice Singh Walia agreed with the BFA legal representative Otto Itumeleng that Mamelodi should face the BFA disciplinary hearing.

He said if Mamelodi has any misgivings about the disciplinary processes against him, he should ventilate them at his hearing.

In his opposing affidavit, Itumeleng had argued that the suspended BPL CEO should exhaust all the processes available to him at the BFA and if still aggrieved at the findings, he may submit them before the courts of law, something which Justice Walia agreed with.

However, Walia ordered the BFA to furnish Mamelodi with all the documents he had requested from the association within 14 days and only then can the hearing scheduled before the April 20. 

However, with regards to Mamelodi’s main application to have the forensic report overturned, the BFA is expected to file its responding affidavit within seven days and the case to be heard thereafter at a date yet to be determined.

Commenting on the ruling, Mamelodi’s legal representative said he was not disappointed at the ruling though they had lost in their bid to stop his disciplinary hearing.

“Our argument was two dimensional. The first segment of our argument was that we require the transcripts that relate to the evidence that was led during the proceeding of the forensic investigation,” Leburu said.

“The second argument was that we need parts of the documents which speaks to the ledger which are referred to in the forensic report before the proceedings can proceed. To that extent, we believe we have been successful,” he continued.

“But to the extent of staying the entire proceedings pending the determination of the dispute of the forensic report we have been unsuccessful. But the beauty of it all is that we still have time to ventilate our arguments as against the forensic report,” said Leburu.

Leburu then went on to express optimism that his client has a very strong case against the forensic report.

“We believe our case on the forensic report is unassailable. I do not think they can defend it. If we set aside the forensic report, anything based on it collapses. They may succeed in terms of meeting in the next few weeks and dismissing Mamelodi, but the moment the forensic report collapses, whatever they have done based on it will collapse,” he concluded. 

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