Thursday, October 28, 2021

WHY SACK BENITO IF BDO AUDIT WAS LEGIT?

The Botswana Premier League (BPL) board of governors has stamped itself in the foot by adopting the BDO audit report that they ignored leading to an ‘outside’ forensic audit that resulted in the sacking of ex-CEO Bennet Mamelodi.

“We have adopted the BDO audit report,” confirmed BPL interim CEO Thabo Ntshinogang. 

Mamelodi was accused of financial mismanagement.

 “We have adopted the BDO audit report,” Ntshinogang confirmed. 

While it is a little early, the timing of the adoption of the BOD audit report is expected to add a new twist in the impending legal fight between Mamelodi and the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and BPL. 

For a long time now, Mamelodi, who was unceremoniously fired by the BFA had always insisted that the BDO report exonerated him from any wrongdoing as it gave the BPL a clean audit.

In giving their unqualified opinion, BDO said: “In our opinion, the annual financial statements present fairly, in all material, the financial position of Botswana Premier league as at 30th June 2016, and its financial performance and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with international financial reporting standards, and the requirements of the societies act.”

The BPL board, on the other hand, refused to acknowledge the BDO report and instead commissioned a forensic audit, which was undertaken by South African firm ADM Financial Forensic Services.

Among their findings, the ADM report spoke of allegations of mismanagement which are yet to be investigated further to arrive at a professional opinion.

“It is alleged Mr. Mamelodi was directly responsible for unauthorised and unaccounted expenditure to the value of P714 656.61 during the period April 2015 to February 2016. It is further alleged that Mr. Mamelodi contributed to the dire financial status of the BPL by not fulfilling his duties as the chief accounting officer by not having oversight of unaccounted and irregular expenditure to the value of P297 886.55 during the period April 2014 to August 2016, reads the ADM audit report.

In the aftermath of the forensic report allegations, Mamelodi, who was serving a suspension, was then slapped with seven charges relating to financial irregularities and maladministration.  

The former CEO was eventually fired after many of his scheduled hearings were aborted due to “his non-show”.

Since then, Mamelodi, who is represented by Dutch Leburu, has since filed a case before the high court for unlawful dismissal. In his case before the court, Mamelodi wants the court to set aside the forensic audit. 

Now with the adoption of the report, it is left to be seen whether the BPL has not scored an own goal in their legal battle with the former BPL CEO, as he has always maintained the BDO audit absolves him from any wrong doing. 

Meanwhile, sources say the BPL board and the NEC are yet to be furnished with the full text of the ADM forensic audit report. As of now, both the BPL board and BFA BEC have not adopted the ADM forensic report.  

What puzzles some football pundits is how the BFA NEC will defend the forensic audit in the courts of law while it is yet to be adopted. 

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper