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“We are clean”

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The Ides of March’ is the date best known for the assassination of the main protagonist Julius Caesar by Brutus and Cassius in the famous Shakespearean tragedy – ‘Julius Caesar’.

This literary masterpiece best describes the recent political demise of former Botswana Premier League (BPL) chairman Walter Kgabung and his deputy Solomon Mantswe. The two were unceremoniously removed from their positions following a fateful BPL Board of Governors meeting on 26th March following allegations of financial embezzlement.

The pair was not the only casualty as BPL Chief Executive Officer Bennet Mamelodi also found himself in the line of heavy artillery fire. This week both Kgabung, who is Township Rollers’ chairman and Mantswe (Police XI) chairman, called an impromptu press conference in Gaborone to clear their good names.
“We called this press conference, for the purpose of which was mainly influenced by the desire on our part to share our side of the story regarding the circumstances leading to our removal,” Kgabung told the newshounds.

“It is common cause that the Board of Governors met at a meeting on 26th March, as part of a scheduled governance process where strategic decisions are discussed and decided upon in the furtherance of the premier league.”

The former chairman, who insisted that he was neither seeking reinstatement nor taking legal action against his tormentors, said part of the meeting discussed the issue of financial grants to premier league clubs.

“It had become apparent that preceding the meeting that even though at the material time, the premier league had not overspent its budget, projections indicated that because of failure to realise financial inflows from projected income generating streams, the league would be over the budget by P6 million at year end.”

According to Kgabung, the board was quick to put the blame on not only him but his deputy for alleged misuse and embezzlement of premier league money. Moreover, Kgabung who seemingly views the whole episode as politically motivated, said he was further accused of securing a P900 000 loan with Township Rollers investor Jagdish Shah to distribute among some teams in the premier league and thus giving the beneficiaries an unfair advantage.

“In addition there was talk that I had authorised the use of the Premier league official letterhead to support requests by clubs to solicit financial assistance from Mr Shah.” Kgabung said the Board went on to remove him and Mantswe even though they had no constitutional power to do so. The Board further suspended the CEO of the Premier League Bennet Mamelodi with immediate effect, even though he was not in attendance at the material time.

“Our sole reason is to officially respond to the actions of our fellow board members and buttress our position that the process that was followed to remove us was unlawful and inconsistent with constitutional provision of the Botswana Football Association (BFA).”

Speaking during the same occasion, Solomon Mantswe said being removed from their positions does not mean they were no longer Board members of the BPL. “We remain surprised because the BFA constitution does not allow the board to take such decisions, they can only make recommendations,” Mantswe said.
Moreover, Mantswe said he was previously called upon by some board members to oust Kgabung, which he refused.

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Selibe Phikwe bowls club faces closure

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Selibe-Phikwe Bowls Club faces a possible collapse, Sun Sports has learnt. This follows the closure of the BCL mine back in 2016, which has seen the club struggle without the supply of electricity and water.

Speaking to this publication this week, the chairperson of Phikwe club Oabona Motladiile said that things have been stagnant since the mine closed doors. “Nothing is happening here, there is no action at all because when the mine closed, it meant there was no one to pay for the water and electricity bills,” Motladiile said.

Motlaadile explained that their grounds are situated at Area 2, a place that the mine paid all bills for, however it has since proved very hard for them to maintain the green that needs constant watering. He said they do not have any alternative facilities to use and have since informed the Phikwe council about their difficulties but still solutions have not been found.

The Phikwe Chairman at the time of going to press said he was not sure of the exact figures they needed on a monthly basis but around 20 000 litres of water and electricity not exceeding P 1 000. He lamented that the Phikwe club is one of the oldest clubs locally and at one point had about 30 members. However, numbers have been dropping because there is no action.

“We are a very competitive club of men and women who make it into the national team,” he said. John Gaborutwe who is the BBA Vice President said that the possible closure of Phikwe Bowls Club was one of the topical issues to be discussed during the BBA Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming weekend. The affiliates will be expected to vote for a new Vice President, Treasurer and Director of Bowls as the term for the current office bearers expires.

The AGM will be followed by the start of the Rose Bowl tournament. The tournament is the 1st of the 5-series major tournaments for the 2019 season. The remaining tournaments will be held in Francistown, Orapa, Jwaneng and Phikwe respectively. Jwaneng club is the defending champions.

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BFA FIRES BRIGHT

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Allegations coming out of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) are that national football team head coach Major David Bright has been fired as of Tuesday this week. The illustrious veteran tactician took over from Englishman Peter James Butler more than a year ago.

At the helm of the Zebras, Bright struggled to bring home positive results and find winning combinations. Having failed to lead Zebras past the qualifying stages of the 2019 Afcon competition was the first sign of trouble for the veteran coach at Lekidi. Furthermore the experienced tactician was expected to improve Botswana’s position in the FIFA world rankings. The Zebras are currently in the lowly 145th position.

According to sources close to the matter, Bright was handed a termination letter and challenged to show cause why he should not be relieved of his duties at Lekidi. As one of the most decorated coaches in both Botswana and CAF region, Bright has coached numerous teams including South Africa’s Bay United, Gaborone United and Morupule Wonders.

Reached for comment on the matter the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti insisted that the former army man is still in charge of the senior national team. For his part Bright said he could not comment on the matter and referred Sun Sport to the BFA.

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