The Botswana Football Association president Tebogo Sebego lives a charmed life. For the umpteenth time in his reign as the association’s top man, Sebego survived yet another attempt to block him from contesting the contentious upcoming BFA elections.
On Friday, the Elections Appeal Committee dismissed an appeal by former BFA National Executive Member and First Division North chairperson Eatametse Olopeng to have him thrown out of the running for the BFA top office. Sebego, who has been facing numerous attempts to dethrone him from the BFA presidency, proved to be too smart for his colleague in NEC to throw him out of his position.
The appeals committee is chaired by former University of Botswana vice chancellor, Bojosi Otlhogile.
In the latest twist to the never-ending tale of the BFA, Olopeng had appealed to the Elections Appeal Committee to ban both Sebego and his right hand man Oabile Tariq Babitseng from contesting the elections.
Olopeng had appealed that the duo be barred on two grounds. On ground one he argued that Sebego acted immorally and unethically in that he violated Article 44.3 of the BFA Constitution in that as president he “shall not maintain any relation of a sporting nature with members that have been suspended or expelled”.
Olopeng’s call for the banning of the two stems from the BFA president’s relationship with Babitseng. The latter was dismissed from his post as the BFA vice president (administration) almost a year ago for alleged “mismanagement” of contingency funds given to the Zebras for their AFCON trip to Guinea Bissau. Babitseng was, however, not charged as the investigation into his alleged “mismanagement of funds” failed to prove any wrongdoing.
In dismissing his sentiments, Otlhogile’s committee said “there is no evidence that Mr Sebego did associate with any suspended or expelled members. Members in this respect refers to legal persons and not natural person (individuals)” the committee reasoned in dismissing count one. The Appeals Committee decision is the final one that cannot be challenged by any government body.
Olopeng’s argument in the second ground was also dismissed by the appeals committee. Olopeng is in the MacLean Letshwiti camp and is seeking to be elected as a NEC member. The BFA president will now face Solomon Mantswe and Letshwiti for the position of presidency. Babitseng has since been declared free for a face-off with Marshlow Motlogelwa and Gabriel Ngele the position of second vice president.
Incumbent Basadi Akoonyatse will vie for the position of first vice president with Dickson Gabanakgosi and Segolame Ramotlhwa. The position of additional members will pit Kgato Motai, Masego Nchingane, Olson Mantle, Kenalekgotla Sebolao, Eatametse Olopeng, Abel Monnakgotla, Oathusa Baoke and Senki Sesenyi against each other. The female slot for additional member will be contested by Tapaphiwa Tracy Gaebolae, Theresa Hirschfeld and Suzie Montsho.