Dutch Leburu, the lawyer representing suspended Botswana Premier League chief executive officer (BPL CEO), Bennett Mamelodi says the BPL board is pursuing a witch hunt against his client.
He shared the sentiments outside court after securing an interdict that stopped BPL board from proceeding with disciplinary hearing against Mamelodi which were slated for last Thursday evening.
“The court interdict blocked premier league board from taking any steps in relation to disciplinary hearing until the matter is resolved in court” explained Leburu.
He said the BPL board had failed to comply with the basic rules of disciplinary action. “The charges are not in compliance with the BFA conditions of service. Premier league is an organ of the BFA, it doesn’t have independent conditions of service so they ought to comply with BFA conditions of service” charged Leburu.
Leburu of Monthe Marumo and Company said “when suspending my client the board said it was conducting a forensic audit and investigations. That’s what the suspension letter states” he said. He adds “they should provide us with two reports first, the forensic audit report and the investigations report” demanded Leburu.
He said his client could not be subjected to a disciplinary hearing when the board is failing to provide the outcome of the forensic audit and investigations reports. “They should also give my client a letter that asks him to show course why disciplinary action cannot be taken against him. That has not happened.”
Leburu further pointed out that premier league acting board chairman, Rapula Okaile acted outside his powers when he suspended Mamelodi. He insists that Okaile does not have the authourity to suspend Mamelodi but they can only recommend to the BFA for their consideration.
Leburu is accusing the board of somersaulting against the CEO. “The board is accusing Mamelodi of overspending and misappropriation of funds whereas they were kept in the loop and know everything because they attended the meeting and agreed on expenses” Leburu.
Mamelodi is facing seven charges among them failure to ensure that there are documented financial and accounting procedures of the league’s various transactions, thereby exposing the organization to fraud and misappropriation of its funds. He is also accused of willfully operating the premier league with a deficit of P1, 900,000.00 without communicating/disclosing this material information to the board for a period of more than six months. Mamelodi is further charged with failing to maintain information in respect of transfers and affiliation fees, with the result that is quite possible that revenue received as transfer fees and affiliation fees is being misstated. The league board is also accusing CEO of facilitating other clubs to solicit funds from another premier league team without the sanction or authority of the Board of governors. He is also accused of neglecting to ensure that all employees of the league have written contracts of employment and this has potential to breed disputes as to what terms of employment are.