Saturday, October 16, 2021

The crucifixion of ‘poor’ Mamelodi

The war between the Botswana Football Association and the Premier League Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bennett Mamelodi, is far from over. The two have been in the dock at the Industrial Court with Mamelodi claiming unfair treatment by his employers. 

In the latest incident after Mamelodi was redeployed to the BFA from the Premier League office (no details availed) after his suspension was lifted. However, he was later suspended again before he could resume work. Last Friday Judge Paper Molomo dismissed Mamelodi’s urgent application questioning the redeployment.  

Mamelodi is serving suspension pending the conclusion of a forensic audit at the Premier League office. The company that is doing the forensic audit is yet to be known.  

Contacted for comment the BFA CEO, Kitso Kemoeng, asked if indeed Bennett was re-suspended as he denied any knowledge of that, “I am not aware of any pending suspension.”  He further added: “What I have received is medical sick leave from Mamelodi,” Kemoeng said.  Mamelodi is on extended sick leave and was recommended to go check-ups with psychologists. 

Sunday Standard is in possession of a letter from BFA CEO Kitso Kemoeng dated September 12 suspending Mamelodi from work. 

The letter states: “Therefore in order to ensure that the audit is not impeded by your presence at the Premier League offices you are hereby placed on suspension with immediate effect pending the complexion of the forensic audit.”  

The letter further reads: “The recently elected National Executive Committee of BFA has resolved that matters relating to your relationship with the Premier League should be concluded as soon as possible. It is not in the interest of the BFA nor yourself to be continuously involved in litigation.”

The letter further suggest that the NEC has resolved that a forensic audit be conducted at the Premier League office as a matter of urgency and all previous disciplinary proceedings against Mamelodi remain withdrawn. 

“For the avoidance of doubt, there are no pending anticipated disciplinary proceedings against yourself” Kemoeng assured Mamelodi in the letter. 

Contacted for comment Mamelodi’s lawyer, Dutch Leburu, said: “We are weighing our options. It is clearly an abuse of power and a flagrant violation of employee rights. One wonders what the purpose of this suspension is other than to inflict pain on his soul. Institutions should not be vindictive” charged Leburu.  

He added: “Suspension must be intended at serving a purpose. This one is clearly a malicious act,” he concluded. 

Two week back on Friday (September 9) the Industrial Court dismissed Mamelodi’s urgent application to the court to set aside the BFA decision to redeploy him from his position at the Premier League to the BFA.  

Mamelodi was redeployed by Kemoeng on August 31. Leburu’s reasoning was that the deployment would preempt the case before Judge Paper Molomo that his client is fighting. Mamelodi has a case before the court that seeks to set aside the disciplinary hearing that the league wanted to Mamelodi to answer. In his arguments Leburu said there were no specific details of redeployment as the letter did not specify which position he would be occupying. 

He said Mamelodi would lose benefits as his contract had some clauses that subjected him to have monetary benefits. 

Judge Molomo dismissed the case saying an employer had the right to redeploy its staff as and when the need arises.

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